Robert J. Ward Papers, 1963-1999

Collection Overview

Title: Robert J. Ward Papers, 1963-1999

Record Series: 14/03/02/06

Record Group:

14/03/02 Faculty & Staff Papers

Creator: Ward, Robert J.

Date: 1963-1999

Extent: 7 boxes (2.75 linear feet)

Repository: Special Collections and University Archives, Rod Library, University of Northern Iowa.

Language: Materials entirely in English.

Information for Users

Accessing the Collection:

Most materials are open for research. The contents of Boxes 6 and 7 are CLOSED to researchers due to the confidentiality of personnel, student, medical, and other legally protected records.

Custodial History:

The papers were donated to SC&UA in June 2000 after other faculty had used them in a project editing the poetry of James Hearst.

Sensitive Materials Statement: Manuscript collections and archival records may contain materials with sensitive or confidential information that is protected under federal or state right to privacy or similar laws, and the Iowa Open Records Law (see Iowa Code § 22.7). Researchers are advised that the disclosure of certain information pertaining to identifiable living individuals represented in this collection without the consent of those individuals may have legal ramifications (e.g., a cause of action under common law for invasion of privacy may arise if facts concerning an individual's private life are published that would be deemed highly offensive to a reasonable person) for which the University of Northern Iowa assumes no responsibility.

Preferred Citation: [Identification of item], in the [Series Title] #[series number], [folder number or title when applicable], [Collection Name], Rod Library, University of Northern Iowa.

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Historical Note

Robert J. Ward was born July 17, 1926, in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio. Although he dropped out of high school and later joined the Navy, he acquired his G.E.D. in 1946. He went on to receive his B.A. from Akron University in 1951, his master's degree in 1952 from Ohio State University, and his doctorate from the University of Missouri in 1967. He taught at the University of Missouri and Northern Illinois University before coming to UNI in 1963 as an assistant professor in Language, Speech, and Literature. Ward was selected as a senior Fulbright lecturer at the University of Timisoara, Romania, in both 1981 and 1985. His other honors and awards included a Ford Foundation Study grant on India in 1967-68, a summer fellowship from the National Endowment for the Humanities at Stanford University in 1980, and a lecture tour on Midwestern Literature in 1988 at the Universities of Extremadura and Salamanca, Spain, and the University of London. Ward served as acting department head of the Department of English Language and Literature from 1987 through 1990.

Professor Ward was a leading scholar on James Hearst and his works. This expertise was evident in Ward's writings and poems along with the many programs he presented on James Hearst. Judo was another subject in which Ward had a keen interest. In addition to his English classes, he was a judo instructor in the Physical Education Department and served as the head instructor of the UNI Judo Club for a number of years. Ward himself carried a black belt in judo.

Some of Ward's poetry was a result of the time he spent in Romania with his wife Catherine, who was of Romanian descent. He first went to Romania in 1981 under the Fulbright program, but his time was cut short when he was diagnosed with lung cancer and returned to the states for treatment at the Mayo Clinic. He then returned to Romania, again under the Fulbright program, in 1985.

Robert J. Ward died April 8, 1999. For more information on Ward's teachings and writings, see his obituary.

Scope and Content

Dr. Ward's papers are divided into four main categories: General Papers, Essays and Fiction, Poetry, and Student Papers. Within each category the papers are in alphabetical order.


Box 1

General Papers

  • Biographical and bibliographic information
  • Central Hall fire; correspondence
  • Correspondence--Norman and June Stageberg
  • Correspondence--James and Meryl Hearst
  • Dictionary of Midwestern Literature
  • English Bibliography class
  • Expressions correspondence
  • Hearst Center fund-raising
  • Popular Culture Association correspondence
  • Hearst Lecture Series
  • "Landscape Iowa" film proposal
  • Lecture notes on Hearst poetry
  • Mulberry Press chapbook
  • National Endowment for the Humanities grant application
  • Nebraska Humanist correspondence
  • NAR bibliography
  • Notes on interview with Hearst
  • Poetry contests
  • Poetry rejection slips;

Box 2

General Papers (continued)

  • "Poetry of James Hearst" course material
  • Permission to publish Hearst work
  • Research proposals and grant applications..

Essays and Fiction

  • Advanced Writing assignments
  • "Act of Darkness"
  • "American Literary Diplomats"
  • "Anglo-American Studies & Miorita"
  • Bibliography of publications--papers and works on James Hearst
  • Bibliography of second materials on James Hearst
  • Biographical notes on James Hearst, 1999
  • Business in the American Novel
  • "Cahiers: roumains d'etudes litteraires: a review"
  • "Christmas Tale of Two Men"
  • "Europe in American: Historical Romances"
  • "An Experiment in Translation of a Poem"
  • "Farming as Ritual in the Poetry of James Hearst"
  • "Farming the Land and Writing Poetry: an Interview with James Hearst"
  • "Fiction in Letters"
  • "From Source to Achievement in 'Benito Cereno'"
  • "Grim Life in Pre-revolution Romania"
  • "Hemingway's 'A Clean Well-Lighted Space'
  • "Impact of the Court Masque"
  • "Introducing Poetry to People Who do Not Like Poetry via Some Poems of James Hearst"
  • "Introduction to the Poetry of James Hearst (in Spanish)"
  • "James Hearst, Iowa Farm Poet and More"
  • "James Hearst--Iowa's Premier Poet of the Land and of the Heart"
  • "James Hearst: A Midwestern Life"
  • Journal, 1949-51, 1979, 1984
  • "James Hearst: A Bibliography of His Work"
  • :The Last Poems of James Hearst: A Midwestern Man"
  • "Letters in Fiction"
  • "My Uncle George and Tristram Shandy"

Box 3

Essays and Fiction (continued)

  • "Poetry and Environment"
  • "The Plow as Metaphysical Tool--Farming as Ritual in the Poetry of James Hearst"
  • "The Posthumous Poems of James Hearst"
  • "Project Leapfrog"
  • "The Revelation of the Moral and Aesthetic in The Wings of the Dove"
  • "Tear of Time"
  • "Tribute to Meryl Norton Hearst"
  • "The Vernacular Voice in the Poetry of Whitman, Dickinson, and Frost"
  • "Women in Historical Romances."


  • Alcoholic Triptych
  • And When I Awake in the Morning
  • At a Negro Funeral
  • Brightness and Beauty Fallen in the World: for the Crew of the "Challenger"
  • A Broken Neck, A Bag of Poems: for James Hearst, Poet, 1900-1983
  • A Bucharest Night Scene
  • A Christmas Tale of Two Men
  • The Clean, Cold Winter Sun
  • The College Circuit Lecturer
  • Confession: A Drunk
  • A Custom of the Country
  • Dallas, 1963
  • Decay
  • Dining in Style
  • The Discovery
  • Due Acknowledgements
  • Emily Dickinson on "The Committee for Decent Literature"
  • An Epitaph for Me
  • A Farmer of Poems: In Memory of James Hearst

Box 4

Poetry ( continued)

  • Fifteen Crows in an Iowa Winter
  • Florica and Florita
  • For Catherine
  • For Julie Anderson, Recreation Therapist
  • Four Poems and an Interview with James Hearst
  • Go Gently
  • "God's Will" in Romania
  • A Harvesting
  • Here in Timisoara, Spring, 1986
  • A Hunger for the Sounds of English
  • In Memoriam
  • In Your Dying Fall
  • Interlude: Keswick, England, May 31, 1985
  • An Iowa Alba
  • An Iowa Fall, Winter, and Spring Quintet
  • Jim Hearst: Farmer, Poet, Teacher
  • The Joy of Watching a Juggler with My Grandchildren
  • The Judo Match
  • Lament for Carol Lou Wheeler
  • Lament for Nicolae Elian, Romanian Physician
  • Lament for Stag
  • A Late Harvesting
  • The Leaving
  • Leaving the Land
  • Living Under the Nuclear Cloud of the 60's
  • Losses: Richard Rackstraw
  • Love Song of a Middle Aged Romantic
  • Macbeth
  • A Midwestern in Romania:
  • A Land of Lowering Darkness
  • A Moment of a Spanish Spring
  • Momma Balay
  • More Than Sound and Fury
  • Morning, a Good Beginning
  • A Neighbor's Death at Christmas
  • Ode to Richard Brooks
  • Odors
  • Of Darkness and Light
  • Oh, Fond, Fine Boy!: For my nephew, Michael Hughes, dead at seventeen
  • Oh, Poetry
  • On Bringing Home the Aging Poet: In memory of James Hearst, 1900-1983
  • One Morning in Late August
  • One Winter Morning
  • The Only Game in Town
  • Only to Speak
  • Our Flowers

Box 5

Poetry (continued)

  • The "Play" of a Judo Match
  • Poems for All Seasons
  • Poems for Our Winter Seasons
  • Poems for the Winter Seasons
  • Poems read at department Christmas parties
  • Portrait: Peasant Mother
  • A Pun-Funhouse
  • A Red, Red Rose for the 20th Century
  • The Required Rehearsal
  • Rich Harvest of Our Love
  • Robert Dalziel: Teacher
  • Rolling in Our Buick
  • Romania: Leaving the Land, 1981
  • Romania: The Arrival
  • Romania, a Land of Lowering Darkness
  • Romania, the Return, September 1985
  • Romanian Suite
  • The Same as This as in Other Lands
  • Slapstick
  • Still Life
  • Strategies for Our Winter Season
  • Summers are a Sometime Thing
  • Talk of Having Something at One's Fingertips
  • Tale of Two Men
  • Tending Our Gardens
  • Those Words We All Know
  • Thru Poems in the Modes of Predecessors
  • Tis Done?
  • Triptych - A Long Iowa Winter
  • Triptych by a Recovering Alcoholic
  • Two is One, One is Two
  • Two Poems in the Modes of Predecessors
  • Upon Seeing a Van Gogh Exhibition
  • Upon the Death of "Maica", my Mother-in-Law
  • A Visit
  • Ward is Not Donne
  • The Warm of My Father
  • Winter
  • A Winter Morning Alba
  • Winter Worship
  • Winter's Tale
  • A Wooing
  • You Poem
  • Miscellaneous short poems

Box 6 - Student Papers [RESTRICTED USE]

Alexander, Judy, "James Heart - The Poet" (1981)

Appleby, Jean

  • "Coleridge : Divine, Synge, Hearts : Words Worthian" (1980)
  • "Hearst Poems - Master Images"
  • "The Metaphysical Voice in Hearst's Love Poems" (1981)

Aukes, Sally, "Our Neighbor's Poem"

Banse, Zachary Thomas, "Order" (1996)

Bates, Jonathan J.

  • Analysis of James Heart's "Hard Words"
  • Analysis of LaVie Passionnee of Rodney Buckthorne (1991)
  • Analysis of The Law and the McLaughlins (1991)

Botton, Diane D., "Hearst's Dilemma (1988)

Bowman, Barbara, "Directed to the Grange"

Brown, Karen

  • "Alice French's The Man of the Hour"
  • "An Analysis of 'One Way for an Answer'" (1991)
  • "An Analysis of West of the River" (1991)

Buerger, Sherri, "James Hearst's Farm-life Experiences are Portrayed in His Poetry" (1996)

Champ, Heather, "The Art of Personification" (1996)

Corcoran, Diane, "The Poetry of James Hearst"

Crowe, Patty, "Thanatos and Libidos: Two Distinct Psychological Forces in Hearst's Poetry" (1988)

Diehl, Christy, "Poetry of James Hearst" (1981)

Dirks, Rebecca, "The Poetry of James Hearst" (1996)

Ebert, Corinne, "The Poetry of James Heart" (1996)

Eastman, Christopher G., "James Hearst: The Circle of Love"

Eastman, Rhonda, "Gone with the Mind" (1988)

Ericson, Kathy, "How to Relate to James Hearst"

Garrett, Carol, Untitled

Gillette, Mark, "James Hearst's Literary Reputation"

Goforth, Kristin, "James Hearst's Poetic Farmer" (1989)

Hartman, Allison 

  • "Amalie's Story by Julie McDonald" (1991)
  • "Poem Analysis 'The Old Dog,' by James Hearst (1991)
  • "Sioux City by J. Hyatt Downing"

Hemann, Barbara, "The Cyclic Vision of James Hearst" (1989)

Hemann, Barbara J. and Savereide, Sue Ellen, "James Hearst: A Bibliography of Primary and Secondary Materials" (1989)

Henzen, Barbara, "Birds as Representatives of the Ethereal in the Poetry of James Hearst" (1988)

Hite, Karen, "James Hearst" (1996)

Iseminger, Mary, "The Poetry of James Hearst" (1981)

Jannette, Susan, "Poetry of James Hearst" (1981)

Kaiser, Kathy, "The Poetry of James Hearst" (1996)

Klendworth, Tam, "Time in a Season" (1989)

Klinkenberg, Derrick, "The Poetry of James Hearst" (1996)

Koehn, Karen, "A Comparison and Contrast of Two Poets from the 20th Century: James Hearst and Robert Frost" (1996)

Lage, Jessica, "James Hearst and Poetry in Iowa" (1995)

Lampe, Gary, "Hearst, A Poet and A Farmer" (1996)

Langenwalter, Laura M.

  • "An Analysis of Fredrick Manfred's The Man Who Looked Like the Prince of Wales" (1991)
  • "An Analysis of Jim Hearst's 'For a Neighbor Woman' (1991)"
  • "An Analysis of Song of Years"

Lilledahl, Jeanne, "Autumn and Old Age Compared in the Poetry of James Hearst" (1989)

Lucas, Lisa, "Roots" (1989)

McGraw, Karen, "James Hearst's 'Calendar's Mischief'"

McKean, Maura, "War Poetry" (1996)

McLendon, M.J., "James Hearst and Garcia Grindal: Similarities Among Differences" (1982)

McMullen, Carol, "The Authentic Voice of James Hearst" (1981)

Marquis, Ann, "'Bereaved' and 'Lock the Door': Two Poems on Loneliness" (1982)

Martin, Val, "'Each To Its Own Purpose': The Poet and Symbolism" (1982)

Martin, Val, "The Work Motif in Hearst's Poetry"

Matthias, Annette, "A Sense of Place in Hearst's Life and Poetry" (1988)

Mescall, Kimberly, "Analysis of Hearst Poem" (1991)

Mescall, Kimberly

  • "Iowa in the 1980s: Nancy Price's Sleeping with the Enemy" (1991)
  • "A Look at Iowa: Wallace Stegner's Remember Laughter" (1991)

Miller, Wendy, "The Farm Life of a Child" (1996)

Moran, Mary Kay, "James Hearst Poetry" (1981)

Natvig, Audrey, "Poetry of James Hearst"

O'Donnell, Pat, Untitled

Perisho, Claudia, "James Hearst's Expressions of True Feelings Through Nature" (1996)

Box 7 - Student Papers [RESTRICTED USE]

Petersen, Sue, "Annotated Bibliography Secondary Sources of Authors" (1990)

Peverill, Eliza, "My Section of James Hearst's Poems and Numbers to Identify Them" (1990)

Pieper, Mary E., "The Dramatic Mode in the Poetry of James Hearst" (1988)

Reiman, Sarah, "Inspirations in Poetry" (1996)

Ross, Sarah

  • "Chris Harnack: Persian Lions, Persian Lambs" (1991)
  • "Gathering a Harvest of Life An Interpretation of James Hearst's Poem "'November'" (1991)
  • "Ruth Suckow's Country People: A Photograph of Words" (1991)

Ruse, Michelle

  • "Hartzell Spence's Get Thee Behind Me" (1991)
  • "'My Father's Care' Was Not of Himself" (1991)
  • "Susan Glaspell's Brook Evans" (1991)

Savereide, Sue Ellen, "Of Shooting Stars, Blue Flags and Stinging Nettle" (1989)

Skewes, Kari, "A Wise Man Once Told Me" (1996)

Slechta, Scott, Untitled (1982)

Soncini, Jeannine, "James Hearst: Lusting for Order" (1996)

Steveley, James, "Focusing on Death in the Poetry of James Hearst" (1988)

Swanson, M., "Symbolism in James Hearst" (1980)

Sueppel, Carrie, "James Hearst: His Life and Its Effects on His Poetry" (1996)

Tonner, Dan J., "A Little Closer to Home: The Poetry of James Hearst" (1988)

VanCleave, Nicole

  • "Choosing by James Hearst" (1991)
  • "A Lantern in Her Hand"
  • "Midnight Lace"

Wahl, Greg

  • "Hamlin Garland's A Spoil of Office" (1991)
  • "The Poetry of James Hearst, Paul Engle and Other Iowa Writers" (1991)
  • "Say Hello to Goodbye, Ava" (1991)

Wood, Ronald, "The Poetry of James Hearst" (1981)

Processing Information

Papers processed by Gerald L. Peterson and Gail Briddle; finding aid prepared by Gail Briddle, June-July, 2000. Updated by Library Associate Dave Hoing, January 2018 and April 2018. Linear feet updated September 13, 2017.