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Library Exhibit Adds to 100th Birthday Celebration of May Swenson

Thursday, Apr. 18, 2013

poet May Swenson sitting on the steps of the family home

A photo of May Swenson from Special Collections and Archives shows May sitting on the front steps of the family home in Logan, Utah. The photo is displayed in the atrium of Merrill-Cazier Library in an exhibit organized by University Libraries.

April is national poetry month and a part of the celebration at Utah State University has been a series of events honoring poet May Swenson, a Logan, Utah, native and a USU alumnus. A series of master classes and poetry readings have been held as part of the May Swenson Centennial Celebration.

In support of the activities, USU’s University Libraries has assembled an exhibit that provides a snapshot of Swenson’s life and work. The exhibit can be seen in the atrium area of the Merrill-Cazier Library now through June 16. The exhibit displays a representative sample of Swenson’s best known poems, family photographs and other memorabilia.

Swenson was born May 28, 1913, in Logan.  She studied English at Utah State Agricultural College and some of her earliest published writing appeared in campus publications. After graduating from USU, Swenson moved to New York City to pursue her literary dreams.

The Swenson exhibit includes a prize-winning Christmas piece that Swenson wrote as a high school student, and examples of her poetry are creatively displayed on the exhibit panels. There are samples of nature poems, science poems, love poems and, yes, even sports poems.

Swenson’s popular “Analysis of Baseball” is displayed. The exhibit notes that Swenson was a fan of sports and “loved the spirit of competition as well as the elegant logic that governs the rules of play.”

In addition to the exhibit, more of Swenson’s poetry can be viewed in the May Swenson Lounge on the library’s fourth floor. Additional primary research materials are located in Special Collections and Archives, including the May Swenson Papers (collection MSS 282) and the May Swenson Book Collection (collection 32). Additional broadsides and personal possessions can be seen in Ray B. West, Room 204H.

Related links:

USU Special Collections and Archives

USU’s University Libraries

Source: USU University Libraries

Contact: Vicki Read, 797-2914,

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