Russell Atkins collection
Collection — Box: 1-6
Scope and contents
This collection gives a glimpse into Atkins's life and work. The collection spans from 1935 until the late 1979. The bulk of the items date in from 1950 to 1979. The focus of the collection is correspondence related to the Free Lance Press and writings by Atkins. The items written by Atkins contain both typescripts and published materials. Included are anthologies where his works were published and printing paste-ups. Handwritten corrections are on some of these items. Also included are some literary writings by others. Of interest are articles about Atkins that address information about his poetry readings. A few items from his childhood make up the personal ephemera series.
- Atkins, Russell (Person)
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Biographical timeline and note
Russell Atkins (b. 1926) is a poet, composer, editor and teacher in Cleveland, Ohio. He also served as a consultant to, and on panels for, many creative agencies in the Cleveland area. He ran and participated in many writers workshops and collaborated with poets and musicians on a variety of his works. Some notable collaborators include composer Hale Smith and poet Langston Hughes. Atkins founded the Free Lance Press in 1950 and served as editor and as a contributor throughout its 30 year history. Free Lance was a small press magazine for poetry and prose committeed to publishing emerging African American poets.
- 25 February 1926
- Born in Cleveland, Ohio to Perry Kelly and Mamie Belle Atkins
- Attended the Cleveland School of Arts on scholarship
- Attended Cleveland Institute of Music
- Founded and edited Free Lance Magazine
- Affiliated with the Iowa University Workshop for Writers
- Created the new music theory he called The Theory of Psychovisual Composition at the Darmstadt Festival of Avant Garde Music in Germany, and was introduced by the composer Stefan Wolfe
- Was the publicity manager and assistant to the director of the Sutphen School of Music, Cleveland, Ohio
- Lectured for the Poets' Alliance, an organization in Cleveland, Ohio
- Lectured and read at the Cleveland Summer Arts Festival
- Consultant to the Cleveland Board of Education
- Creative writing instructor at Karamu House, Cleveland, Ohio
- Writer in residence at Cuyahoga Community College, Cleveland, Ohio
- Honorary doctorate awarded from Cleveland State University
- Received supporting grant for creative works from the Ohio Arts Council
- Participated in the Artists in Education Program with the Cleveland Board of Education
2 Linear Feet
Language of Materials
This collection is arranged into seven series including Correspondence, Writings about Atkins, Writings by Atkins, Writings by others, Organizational affiliations, Personal ephemera and Photographs.
- African American authors
- African American educators
- African American musicians.
- African American poets
- African American teachers.
- African Americans--Music
- American literature -- 20th century.
- American literature -- African American authors -- 20th century.
- Cleveland Institute of Music
- Cleveland State University
- Free Lance Press
- Karamu House
- Music -- United States
- Music theory.
- Russell Atkins collection, 1926-1988
- Finding aid prepared by Alexandra Bernet, 2001 July.
- 2001 July
- Description rules
- Describing Archives: A Content Standard
- Language of description
- Script of description
- Code for undetermined script
- Language of description note