Audiovisual collection of Eve Merriam, 1964-1992
Audio- and videotape collection of Eve Merriam, poet, playwright, director, lyricist, and feminist.
Language of Materials
Materials in English and Japanese.
Access. Unrestricted. An appointment is necessary to use any audiovisual material.
Conditions Governing Use
Copyright. Copyright in the audiovisual materials created by Eve Merriam is held by her sons, Dee Andy Michel and Guy Michel. Copyright in other audiovisual materials in the collection may be held by their authors, or the authors' heirs or assigns.
Copying. Audiovisual materials may be copied in accordance with the library's usual procedures.
Series I, Audiotapes,1964-1992 (#1-31), includes interviews with Eve Merriam; both live and recorded rehearsals and performances of Merriam's plays and poems; and a sample of Merriam's teaching style. Format is audiocassette, unless otherwise noted.
Subseries A, Videotapes 1970s-ca.1980 (#1-3), includes a reading of children's literature by Eve Merriam and a performance of a Merriam play.
Eve Merriam was born Eva Moscovitz in 1916 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She attended Cornell University, transferring after two years to receive her Bachelor of Arts from the University of Pennsylvania in 1937. She continued her education at the University of Wisconsin and Columbia University. She was first married to Erwin Edwin Spitzer in 1939. This marriage ended in divorce. In 1947 she married Martin Philip Michel. The couple had two sons, Guy Michel and Dee Andy Michel, and divorced in 1960. During her marriage to Michel it appears Merriam engaged in an affair with Carl Marzani, left-wing political activist turned publisher. In 1963, Merriam married writer Leonard C. Lewin, author of the best seller, The Report from Iron Mountain: On the Possibility and Desirability of Peace. This marriage also ended in divorce in 1980. Following the divorce, Merriam began a relationship with screen writer Waldo Salt. The couple married in 1983, but separated in 1985, maintaining separate residences: Merriam in New York and Salt in California. It appears that the couple continued a romantic relationship after their separation, having kept up an amorous correspondence until Salt's death in 1987.
Early in her career, Merriam worked as a copy writer, fashion editor of Glamour, and conducted a weekly radio show about poetry on WQXR, New York. Her first book of verse, Family Circle, was awarded the Yale Younger Poets Prize. Other books of poetry include The Nixon Poems, The Double Bed, and The Inner City Mother Goose. Although primarily a poet, Merriam was also a playwright, teacher, and lecturer, particularly on the subjects of education, the status of women, and poetry. She wrote satire, fiction, children's books, biographies (including one of Emma Lazarus), and the precedent-setting After Nora Slammed the Door, one of the early works of second-wave feminist writing. She read her poems on radio, television, in films, and in the theater; and her writings appeared in periodicals abroad and in the New York Times, The Nation, The New Republic, and the Ladies' Home Journal, as well as in many anthologies. Several of her plays were produced off Broadway, including Viva Reviva, The Club, and Inner City (based on her book of poetry The Inner City Mother Goose), renamed Street Dreams: The Inner City Musical in a 1989 revival. Her play Out of Our Father's House, which portrayed prominent American women such as Elizabeth Cady Stanton, was performed at the White House in 1978 and on public television's Great Performances. For several years in the 1960s she taught writing at the City College of New York, and in the 1980s for several years at New York University. Merrriam served as a board or committee member of a number of organizations, including the Dramatists Guild, the Authors League of America, and Very Special Arts, and was a member of the nominating committee for the Tony Awards. Merriam died of cancer in 1992.
The collection is arranged in two series:
- Series I. Audiotapes, 1964-1992 (#1-31)
- Series II. Videotapes, 1970s-ca.1980 (#1-3)
Immediate Source of Acquisition
Accession numbers: 78-M146, 80-M137, 92-M180, 92-M192
The audiovisual materials of Eve Merriam were given to the Schlesinger Library by Eve Merriam, her sons Dee Andy Michel and Guy Michel, and Helen R. Heffer between 1978 and 1992.
Processed: January 2011
By: Melissa Dollman
- Authors, American--20th century
- Feminism and theater
- Feminism--United States
- Feminists--United States
- Radio programs
- Women authors, American--20th century
- Women dramatists, American--20th century
- Women poets, American--20th century
- Women--Social conditions
- Merriam, Eve, 1916-1992. Audiovisual collection of Eve Merriam, 1964-1992: A Finding Aid
- Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America
- Language of description
- EAD ID
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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