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COLLECTION Identifier: A/B8775

Poems of Ellen M. Brown, ca.1967-1968


Eleven typed poems, some with annotations, written by Ellen M. Brown, participant in the Watts Writers' Workshop.


  • 1967-1968


Language of Materials

Materials in English.

Access Restrictions:

Access. Collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright. Copyright in the poems created by Ellen M. Brown as well as copyright in other papers in the collection may be held by their authors, or the authors' heirs or assigns.

Copying. Poems may be copied in accordance with the library's usual procedures.


1 folder

The collection contains eleven typed poems, some with annotations, written by Ellen M. Brown, including two versions of "Like It Is," which was published by the Antioch Review (Autumn 1967). The poems reflect themes of inequality, racism, unemployment, and poverty in Watts and in American society, and speak to specific events of 1968. One poem, entitled "Afternoon of April 4, 1968," expresses the poet's disillusionment after the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr., while another poem describes the duplicity of American presidential candidates. In addition, the collection also contains an envelope addressed to Estelle Hemsley, a well-known Black American actress, of 2455 South St. Andrews Street, Los Angeles, California.


Ellen M. Brown was a participant in the Watts Writers' Workshop, a creative writing group formed after the 1965 riots in the Watts neighborhood of Los Angeles, California. The group was founded by screenwriter Budd Schulberg and operated from 1965 to 1973. It was composed primarily of young African Americans who lived in Watts and the surrounding neighborhoods. Brown was probably a Black woman. Her poem "Like It Is" was published in the Antioch Review (Autumn 1967); in an introduction to the issue, Schulberg writes "Ellen Brown is a sixty-year-old gadfly who always wanted to write...she has shown marked improvement since coming into the Douglass House sessions. In fact, she is becoming so obsessed with writing that she has plunged into her first novel."

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Accession number: 2021-M142

The poems of Ellen M. Brown were acquired by the Schlesinger Library from Between the Covers Rare Books in August 2021.

Processing Information

Processed: December 2021

By: Paula Aloisio

The Schlesinger Library attempts to provide a basic level of preservation and access for all collections, and does more extensive processing of higher priority collections as time and resources permit.  Finding aids may be updated periodically to account for new acquisitions to the collection and/or revisions in arrangement and description.

Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America
Language of description
Processing of this collection was made possible by gifts from the Pforzheimer Fund for the Schlesinger Library and Class of 1957 Schlesinger Library Fund.

Repository Details

Part of the Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute Repository

The preeminent research library on the history of women in the United States, the Schlesinger Library documents women's lives from the past and present for the future. In addition to its traditional strengths in the history of feminisms, women’s health, and women’s activism, the Schlesinger collections document the intersectional workings of race and ethnicity, gender, sexuality, and class in American history.

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