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Marion Buchman papers

 Collection
Identifier: MS-0141
This collection pertains to the writing career and personal life of Baltimore poet Marion Buchman. The materials cover the period circa 1913 to 2000, and the bulk of the materials date from 1932 to 1986.

Dates

  • 1913-1986

Creator

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is housed off-site and requires 48-hours' notice for retrieval. Please contact Special Collections for more information.

Collection is open for use.

Conditions Governing Use

Single copies may be made for research purposes. Permission to publish materials from the collection must be requested from the Special Collections department. Researchers are responsible for determining any copyright questions.

Extent

3.67 Cubic Feet (2 record center cartons, 1 letter size document box, 1 legal size document box, 1 flat boxes (15.5 x 12 x 3 inches))

Biographical / Historical

Marion (Friedman) Buchman was born on February 25, 1914, in Baltimore, Maryland, the daughter of Jacob S. and Mildred (Valinski) Friedman. (Some family members used the surnames Friedmond and Reid.) The Friedmans lived in west Baltimore, and their children attended the public schools. At a young age, Marion developed interests in poetry, dance, and performance. Her voice was known for its melodic tone and clear enunciation. As a young woman, she competed in beauty pageants and was crowned Queen Esther in a 1937 Baltimore contest. Marion played the role of a chorus girl in a local production of Okay Baltimore and apparently screen tested with Walter Wanger Studios. When her parents discouraged her acting career, Marion’s attentions returned to poetry. During the 1940s she hosted a poetry show on a Baltimore radio station.

In 1960 she published her first volume of poetry, A Voice in Ramah, which was well received by contemporary poets and literary critics. In 1976 she produced a guidebook for British readers called America. Buchman’s second book of poems, In His Pavilion, appeared in 1986. She contributed poems to magazines, newspapers, anthologies, and journals. Her publications included the New York Times, the Maryland English Journal, Stanza, American Judaism, and Redbook. She sometimes published under the pen names Marion Jona Ried and Melanie Bloom.

Buchman garnered recognition for her work throughout her career. In 1965 the Maryland Poetry Society named Marion Buchman Poet of the Year. Buchman also received many prizes for individual poems, including: the Cheltenham Prize from the Arts Council of Great Britain for “Centotaph” in 1969; the John Masefield Memorial Award from the Poetry Society of America for “Nancy Hanks Lincoln”; and the Al Di La Prize from Franklin College, Lugano, Switzerland, for “Italian Alps” in 1979. In 1972 the Colorado State Christian College presented Buchman with an honorary Ph.D. The Recorded Sound Section of the Library of Congress invited her to tape a reading of her poems in 1977. The World Poetry Contest awarded her their Golden Poet Award in 1986. In addition to entering many poetry competitions, Buchman occasionally judged contests, including the Emily Dickinson Award from the Poetry Society of America.

Her favorite poets included Robert Louis Stevenson, John Keats, and James Wadsworth Longfellow. Her own poetry was characterized as “sincere, articulate, and lyrical in feeling” by poet and author Norman Rosten. Some of her poems reveal a sense of fun. Focal points in Buchman’s writing include nature, family, childhood, spirituality, and Judaism. She claimed that her knowledge of Hebrew gave her an appreciation for concise phrasing. Buchman revised her poems very little and believed poems should emerge nearly complete. She composed in various forms from haiku to long narrative poetry. Many of her admirers praised the poem, “My Mother Peeling Apples,” which was one of the poet’s own favorites. She also enjoyed painting and ceramic art

In 1938 Marion married Harold Buchman. The Buchmans had two daughters, Sara Erica (Buchman) Haus and Sharon (Buchman) Temple. Marion and Harold divorced sometime during 1973. In 1991 Buchman moved from Baltimore City to Baltimore County. On April 11, 2000, Marion Buchman died of lung cancer at Levindale Hebrew Geriatric Center and Hospital in northwest Baltimore.

Sources:
“Buchman, Marion.” Who’s Who in American Women. 16th edition, 1989-1990. Wilmette, IL: Marquis Who’s Who, 1988.
Nugent, Tom. “Poetry, She Hopes, Still Makes a Difference,” The (Baltimore) Sun, 10 November 1979, 11(A).
Rasmussen, Frederick N. “Marion Buchman, 86, Award-Winning Poet, Lecturer at the Johns Hopkins University," The (Baltimore) Sun, 16 April 2000, 6(B).

Scope and Contents

This collection pertains to the writing career and personal life of Baltimore poet Marion Buchman. The materials cover the period circa 1913 to 2000, and the bulk of the materials date from 1932 to 1986. The papers include professional and personal correspondence; drafts of poems and published poems; financial and personal documentation; awards and trophies; notes, scrapbook materials, and clippings; membership cards for various literary societies; locks of hair; sheet music; photographs; audio materials; and ceramic artwork. The earliest item is a photograph of Buchman’s parents circa 1913; the latest item is a sheet of notes that Buchman’s daughter wrote for her mother’s obituary in 2000.
Most of the papers reflect Buchman’s activity in the literary circles of Baltimore, the United States, and Great Britain. The scrapbooks, clippings, and correspondence document Buchman’s many poetry readings and public speaking engagements, particularly in the Baltimore area. Her involvement with poetry societies, libraries, universities, community colleges, and public schools confirms her extroverted nature. She extended herself by entering various poetry contests. She submitted her work to diverse publications. Drafts and typescripts sometimes include information about where she submitted or published individual pieces.
Most of the papers reflect Buchman’s activity in the literary circles of Baltimore, the United States, and Great Britain. The scrapbooks, clippings, and correspondence document Buchman’s many poetry readings and public speaking engagements, particularly in the Baltimore area. Her involvement with poetry societies, libraries, universities, community colleges, and public schools confirms her extroverted nature. She extended herself by entering various poetry contests. She submitted her work to diverse publications. Drafts and typescripts sometimes include information about where she submitted or published individual pieces.

Arrangement

The collection is divided into six series: Correspondence, writings, administrative files, scrapbooks, audio materials, and photographs.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Marion Buchman donated her papers to Special Collections in 1983. She contributed additional materials in November 1984; February, August, and May 1986; and November 1987. Her daughter, Sara Erica Haus, donated accretions in 2000, 2001, and 2005. In October 2005, Literary Manuscripts of the Archives and Manuscripts Department of the University of Maryland Libraries transferred their Marion Buchman Collection (0.25 linear feet) to Special Collections.

Processing Information

This collection was processed by Jill James.

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections Repository

Contact:
The Sheridan Libraries
Special Collections
3400 N Charles St
Baltimore MD 21218 USA