Miles, Josephine, 1911-1985

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Noted poet, literary scholar and teacher. Member of the faculty of the Dept. of English at the University of California, Berkeley, 1952-1978.

From the description of Josephine Miles papers, 1911-1986. (University of California, Berkeley). WorldCat record id: 122514475

American author; d. 1985.

From the description of Papers, 1957-1968. (Washington University in St. Louis). WorldCat record id: 26090013

Biography

Josephine Miles was born in Chicago on June 11, 1911 to Reginald Odber and Josephine Lackner Miles. Her father was of British ancestory and traced his decendants to the Mayflower; her mother migrated as a child from Germany and graduated from the University of Chicago. Josephine had two brothers, Richard B. and John O. Miles. Born with a dislocated hip that did not receive proper treatment, she suffered from severely crippling rheumatoid arthritis. When the arthritis worsened a couple of years later, the family moved to southern California. Josephine's grammar school career was so haphazard, she credited her mother with teaching her to read and write.

Miles graduated Phi Beta Kappa from UCLA in 1932, and received her M.A. (1934) and Ph.D. (1938) from UC, Berkeley. At the age of twenty five, she won her first national prize for poetry, the Shelley Award, and her first book, Lines at Intersection was accepted for publication by Macmillan and Company. Miss Miles joined the English Department at UC Berkeley in 1940, won tenure in 1947, and was appointed University Professor in 1972. She was the first, and for many years the only, woman on the department faculty.

"Jo" Miles was one of the early architects of the Department of English's current curriculum, particularly in composition. Her "Prose Improvement Project" during the 1950s brought English Dept. teaching assistants together with those of 15 other departments in a broad effort to improve undergraduate's writing all over the campus. Her students have published more than 50 volumes of poems and won at least two national book awards. Miles methods helped form the Bay Area Writing Project, later renamed the California Writing Project, which trains teachers how best to teach writing.

Throughout her career, Miss Miles received many awards and much recognition, including a Guggenheim Fellowship in 1948. She was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Science in 1964, and selected by her colleagues to fill the prestigious post of faculty research lecturer in 1975-76. In 1977, a committee of the Academic Senate gave her a distinguished teaching award. Collected Poems, 1930-1983, won The Nation magazine's Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize and the book was one of three finalists for the Pulitzer Prize. In 1984, Miss Miles was the first writer to be honored by the Bay Area Book Reviewers with the Fred Cody Award for lifetime achievement.

Even after her retirement in 1978, Miles' home on Virginia Street, just north of the campus, remained a center of literary activity and many came to see the teacher, poet, and intensely involved member of the university community. Josephine Miles died of pneumonia at her home in Berkeley on May 12, 1985, at the age of 73.

From the guide to the Josephine Miles Papers, 1911-1986, (The Bancroft Library.)

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
creatorOf Josephine Miles Papers, 1911-1986 Bancroft Library
referencedIn Catalogue I of the Regional Oral History Office, 1954-1979 Bancroft Library
referencedIn Miles, Josephine, 1911-. Photographs from the Josephine Miles papers [graphic]. UC Berkeley Libraries
referencedIn Unterecker, John, 1922-1989. Papers, 1961-1987. Columbia University in the City of New York, Columbia University Libraries
referencedIn Ginsberg, Allen, 1926-1997. Allen Ginsberg papers, 1944-1991. Columbia University in the City of New York, Columbia University Libraries
referencedIn Jean Burden Papers, 1931-1992 Syracuse University. Library. Special Collections Research Center
referencedIn Alan Swallow Papers, 1934-1965 Syracuse University. Library. Special Collections Research Center
referencedIn Paul Foreman Papers, 1919-1979, and the Records of Thorp Springs Press, 1967-1982 TXRC99-A10. Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center
creatorOf Wood, Charles Erskine Scott, 1852-1944. Papers of C. E. S. Wood, 1829-1980 (bulk 1870-1940). Huntington Library, Art Collections & Botanical Gardens
creatorOf Miles, Josephine, 1911-. Postcard, 1975 June 17, Berkeley, Calif., to Roth Wilkofsky of Pomegranate Press, North Cambridge, Mass. Ball State University Library, Bracken Library
creatorOf Flanner, Hildegarde, 1899-1987. Hildegarde Flanner papers, 1924-1984. UC Berkeley Libraries
referencedIn New Directions Publishing Corp. records, 1932-2005 Houghton Library
creatorOf Roth, William M. (William Matson), 1916-. William M. Roth correspondence, 1941-1965. University of California, Santa Cruz, UCSC
referencedIn John Eugene Unterecker Papers, 1961-1987 Columbia University. Rare Book an Manuscript Library
creatorOf Adamic, Louis, 1899-1951,. Letters to Alfred Kreymborg [manuscript], 1921-1956. University of Virginia. Library
referencedIn Felver, Christopher, 1946-. Christopher Felver portraits of poets, authors, and artists [graphic] / photographed by Christopher Felver. UC Berkeley Libraries
creatorOf Van Duyn, Mona. Papers. Washington University in St. Louis, .
referencedIn Archie Ammons papers, 1945-2010. Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections, Cornell University Library.
referencedIn Turek, Ralph, 1944-. Musings : for tenor and chamber orchestra / Ralph Turek ; on the text of On inhabiting an orange, by Josephine Miles. New York Public Library System, NYPL
referencedIn Alberti, Bartolomé, 1940-. Bartolomé Alberti writings, 1976-1977. UC Berkeley Libraries
creatorOf Bertolino, James, 1942-. Papers, 1968-1980. Ohio University, Alden Library
referencedIn Griffith, E. V., 1927-. E.V. Griffith papers, ca. 1945-1995. Stanford University. Department of Special Collections and University Archives
referencedIn Allen, Donald, 1912-2004. Unpublished anthology of the San Francisco Renaissance, ca. 1965. Stanford University. Department of Special Collections and University Archives
referencedIn Ellingham, Lewis. Poet, be like God, 1983-1987. University of California, San Diego, UC San Diego Library; UCSD Library
referencedIn Ammons, A. R., 1926-2001. Archie Ammons papers, 1945-2010. Cornell University Library
creatorOf Miles, Josephine, 1911-. Interview : Berkeley, Calif. : ms., 1978 May 16. UC Berkeley Libraries
referencedIn Van Duyn, Mona. Papers, 1942-1985. Washington University in St. Louis, .
creatorOf Welch, Marie de L. (Marie de Laveaga), 1905-1974. Marie de Laveaga Welch papers, circa 1917-1974. UC Berkeley Libraries
creatorOf Miles, Josephine, 1911-. Papers, 1957-1968. Washington University in St. Louis, .
creatorOf Anderson, Lee, 1896-1972. Papers, 1933-1976 (inclusive), 1948-1972 (bulk). Washington University in St. Louis, .
creatorOf Thorpe, Clarence De Witt, 1887-. Literary papers, 1920-1958. University of Michigan
creatorOf Foreman, Paul, 1943-. Paul Foreman Papers, 1919-1979, and the Records of Thorp Springs Press 1967-1982. Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center
referencedIn Lewis Ellingham's, Poet Be Like God, 1983-1987 Mandeville Special Collections Library
creatorOf Rosenberger, Francis Coleman, 1915-. Papers of [Francis] Coleman Rosenberger, 1946-1952. University of Virginia. Library
referencedIn Miles, Josephine, 1911-1985. Josephine Miles papers, 1911-1986. UC Berkeley Libraries
creatorOf Miles, Josephine, 1911-. Photographs from the Josephine Miles papers [graphic]. UC Berkeley Libraries
referencedIn Roy Harvey Pearce Papers, 1945 - 1995 Mandeville Special Collections Library
creatorOf Pearce, Roy Harvey. Roy Harvey Pearce papers, 1945-1995. University of California, San Diego, UC San Diego Library; UCSD Library
creatorOf Miles, Josephine, 1911-1985. Josephine Miles papers, 1911-1986. UC Berkeley Libraries
creatorOf Miles, Josephine, 1911-. Letter [1960] Aug. 9, Berkeley, to Ernest [Tuveson, Berkeley] University of Michigan
creatorOf Miles, Josephine, 1911-. The poetry scene at Berkeley, 1918-1956 : ms., 1981 May 18. UC Berkeley Libraries
Role Title Holding Repository
Relation Name
associatedWith Alberti, Bartolomé, 1940- person
associatedWith Allen, Donald, 1912-2004. person
associatedWith Ammons, A. R., 1926-2001. person
associatedWith Anderson, Lee, 1896-1972. person
associatedWith A. R. Ammons 1926-2001 person
associatedWith Bancroft Library. Regional Oral History Office corporateBody
associatedWith Bertolino, James, 1942- person
associatedWith Burden, Jean. person
associatedWith Ellingham, Lewis. person
associatedWith Felver, Christopher, 1946- person
associatedWith Flanner, Hildegarde, 1899-1987. person
associatedWith Foreman, Paul person
associatedWith Foreman, Paul, 1943-. person
associatedWith Ginsberg, Allen, 1926-1997. person
associatedWith Griffith, E. V., 1927- person
correspondedWith Harris, Mark, 1922-2007 person
associatedWith Marie, Jacquelyn. person
associatedWith Miles, Josephine, 1911- person
correspondedWith New Directions Publishing Corp. corporateBody
correspondedWith O'Faoláin, Seán, 1900-1991. person
associatedWith Offen, Gail. person
associatedWith Online Archive of California. corporateBody
associatedWith Pearce, Roy Harvey. person
associatedWith Pomegranate Press. corporateBody
correspondedWith Rice, Stan, 1942- person
associatedWith Rosenberger, Francis Coleman, 1915- person
associatedWith Roth, William M. (William Matson), 1916- person
correspondedWith Roy Harvey Pearce Papers person
associatedWith Spicer, Jack. person
associatedWith Stafford, William, 1014- person
correspondedWith Stafford, William, 1914-1993 person
associatedWith Swallow, Alan, 1915-1966 person
associatedWith Thorpe, Clarence De Witt, 1887- person
associatedWith Tovey, Eloyde. person
associatedWith Turek, Ralph, 1944- person
associatedWith Tuveson, Ernest Lee. person
associatedWith University of California, Berkeley. corporateBody
associatedWith University of California, Berkeley. Dept. of English corporateBody
associatedWith University of California, Berkeley. Dept. of English corporateBody
associatedWith Unterecker, John, 1922-1989. person
associatedWith Untermeyer, Louis, 185-1977. person
correspondedWith Untermeyer, Louis, 1885-1977 person
associatedWith Van Duyn, Mona. person
associatedWith Welch, Marie de L. (Marie de Laveaga), 1905-1974. person
associatedWith Wilkofsky, Roth. person
correspondedWith Wimsatt, William K. (William Kurtz), 1907-1975 person
associatedWith Wood, Charles Erskine Scott, 1852-1944. person
Place Name Admin Code Country
United States
Subject
Women poets, American--20th century
Women college teachers--Biography
Poetry, Modern--20th century
Poets, American--20th century
Occupation
Activity

Person

Birth 1911-06-11

Death 1985-05-12

Americans

English

Information

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SNAC ID: 30303635