Biographer James Dempsey wrote a long essay for The Awl this week, recounting how he discovered an E.E. Cummings poem buried in a publisher’s papers.
Check it out: “One day last year, while working on a biography of the publisher Scofield Thayer, I opened a folder of papers related to his magazine The Dial. The folder contained undated letters from the poet E.E. Cummings to Thayer, early versions of a couple Cummings’ poems and one poem by Cummings I couldn’t remember ever seeing before. It was called “(tonite” and, until I came across it, it was unknown. Evidence suggests that the poem was sent sometime around 1916, when Cummings was embarking on his career as a poet and artist.”