Ray, David, 1932-

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Author and professor, David Ray has written over twenty books of poetry, also fiction, essays, criticism and reviews that have appeared in numerous periodicals including Harper's, New Yorker and Yale Review.

From the description of David Ray Papers, 1936-2008 (inclusive) (University of Chicago Library). WorldCat record id: 773057670

David Eugene Ray was born on May 20, 1932 in Sapulpa, Oklahoma. He was the son of Dowell Adolphus and Katherine (Jennings) Ray. He had a daughter, Winifred, with his first wife, Florence. He married his second wife, Ruth, in 1964 and had a son, Samuel. In 1970 Ray married his third wife, Judy, who is also a poet and editor.

Ray received a B.A. in 1952 and an M.A. in 1957 from the University of Chicago. He was as a lecturer and professor in English at several academic institutions, including Wright Junior College (1957-1958), Northern Illinois University (1958-1960), Cornell University (1960-1964), Reed College (1964-1966), the Writer's Workshop at University of Iowa (1969-1970), Bowling Green State University (1970-1971), and the University of Missouri at Kansas City (1971-1995). Ray was also a visiting professor at universities in India, New Zealand, and Australia.

Ray served as a fiction editor, editor-in-chief (1956-1957), and as an advisory editor of Chicago Review. Under his tenure, he published works by Henry Miller, Paul Carroll, George Starbuck, Thomas Mann, Philip Roth, Robert S. Sward, Irving Rosenthal, Margaret Danner, John Logan, Philip Booth, and Robert A. Perlongo. He also served as an associate editor for Epoch from 1960-1964. In 1971, Ray took over the editorship of the The University of Kansas City Review from the 33-year tenure of Alexander P. Cappon. Ray changed the name to New Letters and published authors including Robert Bly, Cyrus Colter, Anselm Hollo, Joyce Carol Oates, Richard Hugo, and Josephine Jacobsen. He served as editor until 1986. With his wife Judy, Ray was also founding editor and producer of the weekly radio program New Letters on the Air, which invites authors to read and discuss their work.

Ray has written over twenty books of poetry, including X-Rays: A Book of Poems (1965), A Hill in Oklahoma (1972), Enough of Flying: Poems Inspired by the Ghazals of Ghalib (1977), On Wednesday I Cleaned Out My Wallet (1985), Elysium in the Halls of Hell: Poems about India (1986), Letter from Arizona to Dave Ignatow (1988), The Maharani's New Wall and Other Poems (1989), Wool Highways and Other Poems (1993), and Demons in the Diner (1999). After his son Samuel died as a teenager, Ray wrote Sam's Book (1987), which won him the Maurice English Poetry Award in 1988. Ray edited or co-edited several books, including The Chicago Review Anthology (1959), A Poetry Reading Against the Vietnam War with Robert Bly (1966), The Life and Work of Richard Wright with Robert M. Farnsworth (1973), New Asian Writing: A New Letters Anthology with Judy Ray (1979), India: An Anthology of Contemporary Writing with Amritjit Singh (1983), and Fathers: A Collection of Poems (1997).

Ray's poetry, fiction, essays, criticism, and reviews appear in numerous periodicals including Harper's, New Yorker, New American Review, Yale Review, London Magazine, Paris Review, Poetry, New Republic, Saturday Review, and Atlantic Monthly. He also contributed to several anthologies, including Where Is Vietnam?: American Poets Respond (1967), Fifty Contemporary Poets (1977), Norton Introduction to Literature (1981), and The Best American Poetry of 1999 (2000).

Ray has received numerous awards and fellowships including Academy of American Poets honorable mention (1955 and 1956), Abraham Woursell fellowship at the University of Vienna (1966-1971), William Carlos Williams prize from the Poetry Society of America (1979), National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship in Creative Writing (1983), Thorpe Menn Award for Literary Achievement from the American Association of University Women (1983), Emily Dickinson Award from the Poetry Society of America (1988), H.G. Roberts Foundation Award (1993), Allen Ginsberg Poetry Award at the Poetry Center of the Passaic County Community College (1997), Explorations magazine prize for poetry (1997), and the Richard Snyder Memorial Award from Ashland Poetry Press (1999).

Ray currently lives in Tucson, Arizona and teaches at Arizona Senior Academy, University of Arizona.

From the guide to the Ray, David. Papers, 1936-2008, (Special Collections Research Center University of Chicago Library 1100 East 57th Street Chicago, Illinois 60637 U.S.A.)

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
referencedIn Harmon, William, 1938-. William Harmon papers, 1939-2000 (correspondents O-R). University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
referencedIn New Directions Publishing Corp. records, 1932-2005 Houghton Library
creatorOf Sward, Robert, 1933-. Papers. Washington University in St. Louis, .
creatorOf Ray, David, 1932-. Office files of The American Poetry Review, 1973-1977. University of Pennsylvania Libraries, Van Pelt Library
referencedIn Hathaway, Baxter, 1909-1984. Baxter Hathaway papers, [ca. 1932]-1980. Cornell University Library
referencedIn Dickey, James. Papers, 1954-1970. Washington University in St. Louis, .
creatorOf Dickey, James, 1923-. Papers, 1954-1970 (inclusive), 1957-1967 (bulk). Washington University in St. Louis, .
creatorOf Ray, David. Papers, 1936-2008 Special Collections Research Center, University of Chicago Library,
creatorOf Association of Literary Magazines of America. Records 1961-1964. Indiana University
creatorOf Lowenfels, Walter, 1897-1976. Papers, 1966-1967. Washington University in St. Louis, .
referencedIn Rose Graubart Ignatow Papers, 1937-1989 University of California, San Diego. Geisel Library. Mandeville Special Collections Library.
creatorOf Ray, David, 1932-. David Ray Papers, 1936-2008 (inclusive) University of Chicago Library
Role Title Holding Repository
Relation Name
associatedWith Association of Literary Magazines of America. corporateBody
associatedWith Cappon, Alexander Patterson, 1900- person
correspondedWith Dickey, James. person
associatedWith Dickey, James, 1923- person
associatedWith Harmon, William, 1938- person
associatedWith Hathaway, Baxter, 1909-1984. person
correspondedWith Ignatow, Rose Graubart person
associatedWith Lowenfels, Walter, 1897-1976. person
correspondedWith New Directions Publishing Corp. corporateBody
associatedWith Sward, Robert, 1933- person
Place Name Admin Code Country
Literature, Modern--20th century
American literature--20th century--Periodicals
American poetry--20th century


Birth 1932-05-20




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