South Caroliniana Library
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University of South Carolina

Bertha West Nealey Papers, 1922-1982

Author:Nealey, Bertha West, 1893-1988
Date Range:1922-1982
Extent:5 linear ft.
Location:P+5J4 (Library Use Only)
Background:South Carolina poet and short story writer

Contents

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CHRONOLOGY

1893 Oct. 26 Born Chesterfield County, S.C., daughter of William C. and Harriet Keenan Armstrong West
1916Graduated Coker College, Hartsville, S.C.
1917Teacher, McBee High School, McBee, S.C.
1918-1922Employed in New York as fashion writer, free lance writer, and theater artist
1923Editor,Furriers Fashions
1924 Feb. 24Married James Barton Nealey
1926Published weekly poetry column in Wilton Bulletin, Wilton, Conn.
1932-1934Enrolled in writing classes at New York University; courses at Columbia University
1956Moved to Columbia, S.C.
1958-1978Presented poetry readings at Furman University and Coker College
1978PublishedWhite Plum Thickets
1981Published Altars to Kuan Yin Goddess of Mercy
1981Recipient of Archibald Rutledge Poetry Award for "Lynches River"
1988 Jan. 15Died

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SCOPE AND CONTENTS NOTE
Included in the Bertha West Nealey papers are poems and their numerous revisions from her two published books, White Plum Thickets (1978) and Altars to Kuan Yin Goddess of Mercy (1981); poems for two unpublished books, Sea Poems and Unsieved Songs of My Years; miscellaneous poems and their revisions; short stories; poems and short stories written by classmates in a creative writing class; correspondence, 1922-1981; news articles; and pencil sketches.

Born in Chesterfield County, S.C., on 26 Oct. 1893 to William C. and Harriet Keenan Armstrong West, Bertha was the eldest of two sisters and one brother. After graduating from Coker College in 1916, she taught for one year at McBee High School in McBee, S.C. From 1918 until 1956 she lived in New York City and Connecticut. During these years Nealey wrote poetry, free lance and for a local weekly paper, the Wilton (Conn.) Bulletin; attended creative writing courses at local universities; worked as a copy writer for advertising agencies; studied art and interior decorating with the New York School of Design and Lucy D. Taylor; opened an interior decorating business; and developed "Constant Comment" tea. In 1956, Nealey returned to South Carolina with her husband James Barton Nealey. After his death in 1957, she continued to study art and creative writing in Columbia.

In addition to various drafts of poems from Nealey's two published books, White Plum Thickets (1978) and Altars to Kuan Yin Goddess of Mercy (1981), and poems for two unpublished books, Sea Poems and Unsieved Songs of My Years, the collection includes series of children's poetry, love poems, and poems intended for a second book dedicated to Kuan Yin. These series are arranged alphabetically by title.

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CONTAINER LIST


Box 1 							Folder Number

   Biographical information   					1

      Correspondence

         11 Sept. 1922-30 June 1981   				2-5

      Reviews of poetry   					6

      Coker College Awards Program, 17 Apr. 1982   		7

      Poetry reading, Furman University   			8

      Poetry Societies   					9

      News articles   						10

      S.C. Poetry Association, Contest Entries   		11

      Drawings   						12

      Miscellaneous   						13

      Poem titles   						14

	White Plum Thickets					15

	Altars to Kuan Yin Goddess of Mercy			16-25

	Sea Poems						26

	Unsieved Songs of My Years				27-29

      Children's poetry						30-34

      Kuan Yin poems, A-R   					35-71

Box 2

      Kuan Yin poems, S-Y   					72-82

      Love poems   						83-84

      Miscellaneous poems, titled

         A-O   							85-130

Box 3 Miscellaneous poems, titled P-Z 131-160 Miscellaneous poems, untitled 161-189

Box 4 Miscellaneous poems, untitled 190-203 Short stories, titled 204-216 Short stories, untitled 217-233 Creative writing class, short stories 224-227 Creative writing class, poems by classmates 228-239 Creative writing class, short stories by classmates 240-244


Administrative Notes

Preferred Citation: Bertha West Nealey Papers, South Caroliniana Library, University of South Carolina.
Information concerning copyright must be secured in writing from the Director of the South Caroliniana
Processed by: Cheryl H. Morrison
Date completed: 1 Mar. 1994

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