Lilly Library Manuscript Collections


The Harris, M. mss, ca. 1972–1996, consists mainly of letters from poet William Matthews (1942–1997) to his former wife, teacher and writer Marie Harris. Harris, the daughter of Basil and Marie (Murray) Harris was born November 7, 1943, in New York, NY. She was married to William Proctor Matthews from 1963–1974, when the marriage ended in divorce. She subsequently married Charter Weeks (a photographer) in 1977. She has three children: William, Sebastian, and Manny. Harris attended Georgetown University, 1961–63 and the University of North Carolina, 1967–68. She received her B.A. from Goddard College in 1971. She was the poet laureate of New Hampshire, 1999–2004.

The collection is arranged chronologically. The correspondence for 1972–1974 relates primarily to their separation and divorce settlement, including copies of letters from and between the lawyers for each, and visitation arrangements for their two sons, William and Sebastian. A notarized copy of the divorce decree, dated 31 May 1974, is also present. The remaining correspondence relates largely to travel arrangements, holiday visits, and the schooling of the boys.

Acquired: 2007, 2009

Collection size: 225 items

NOTE: Access to this collection requires advance notice. Please contact the Curator of Manuscripts for additional information.

For more information about this collection and any related materials contact the Public Services Department, Lilly Library, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN 47405. Call (812) 855-2452 or send an email using our Ask a Question form.