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The following includes resources at the Nunn Center and the University of Kentucky's Special Collections Research Center pertaining to Robert Penn Warren:

The Wisdom Project Podcast Episode #004: Martin Luther King Jr., Malcolm X, and Robert Penn Warren

Episode #004 utilizes two oral history interviews conducted by poet/author Robert Penn Warren in 1964 with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X.  These interviews were part of a larger research project documenting the Civil Rights Movement, a project that would be published in 1965 in the form of the book Who Speaks for the Negro?. This episode creates a conversation, through Robert Penn Warren, between Dr. King and Malcolm X about their philosophies pertaining to the use of violent or nonviolent methods to achieve their goals.  The Wisdom Project podcast is an oral history podcast featuring stories drawn from interviews and projects from the Nunn Center’s extensive collection.  Subscribe here: http://thewisdomproject.life 


Robert Penn Warren on His Writing

An article piecing together interview extracts of Robert Penn Warren talking about his writing.  It also includes a few pictures of the author.  Available at: https://uknowledge.uky.edu/kentucky-review/vol2/iss3/7

Allen, Susan Emily; Warren, Robert Penn; and Farrell, David (1981) "Robert Penn Warren on His Writing," The Kentucky Review: Vol. 2 : No. 3, Article 7.


Robert Penn Warren papers, 1916-1967

Special Collections Research Center, University of Kentucky Libraries

This collection consists primarily of pre-publication drafts of many Warren works. Included are manuscripts, rough drafts, notes, holographic copies, worksheets, typescripts with corrections, proofreader's copies, galley proofs, cancelled material and printed copies. Works include fiction, non-fiction, plays, poems, articles, essays, book reviews, speeches, lectures, tributes, textbooks and transcriptions of interviews. Miscellaneous items such as postcards, letters, articles, clippings and pamphlets are also contained in the Warren papers, as are his Oxford thesis, National Book Award acceptance speeches, material dealing with the National Institute of American Arts and Letters, and other materials. Among Warren's fiction represented in this collection are ALL THE KING'S MEN; BAND OF ANGELS; THE CAVE; FLOOD: A ROMANCE OF OUR TIME; and WILDERNESS. Poetry includes works such as PROMISES: POEMS 1954-1956; YOU, EMPEROR, AND OTHERS: POEMS 1957-1960; and TALE OF TIME: NEW POEMS 1960-1966. There is also an unpublished manuscript entitled GOD'S OWN TIME, a novel set in Kentucky in 1910-1914. Warren wrote this novel between 1930 and 1932.


Robert Penn Warren Oral History Project

Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries

Robert Penn Warren (1905--1989), a native of Guthrie, became the first official poet laureate of the United States in 1986. He won the Pulitzer Prize three times: for his novel All the King's Men in 1947, for Promises: Poems 1954-1956 in 1957, and for Now and Then: Poems 1976-1978 in 1979. He taught at several universities, including Yale, Louisiana State, and the University of Minnesota, and was an essayist, editor, and critic. This project contains interviews with Warren and his friends, relatives, and colleagues, including Saul Bellow, Cleanth Brooks, James Dickey, and William Styron. They discuss Warren family history; Guthrie at the turn of the century; Warren's childhood; his educational experiences; his early interest in writing; his writing style; the intellectual development of his writing; his writing influences; the Southern Review; the Fugitives; Eleanor Warren; Sergeant York; and many of Warren's works, such as All the King's Men, Selected Poems, Brother to Dragons, At Heaven's Gate, The Cave, Billy Potts, Promises, Audubon, Night Rider, and World Enough and Time.


Robert Penn Warren Civil Rights Oral History Project

Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries

The Robert Penn Warren Civil Rights Oral History Project is a collection of interviews concerning the Civil Rights movement and the socioeconomic, cultural, and political struggles of African Americans. Conducted in 1964 by Warren, these interviews constituted part of Warren's research for his book Who Speaks for the Negro? published in 1965. Warren interviewed important civil rights leaders and activists such as Martin Luther King Jr., Milton Galamison, Adam Clayton Powell, Kenneth Bancroft Clark, Vernon Jordan, Malcolm X, Carroll Baker, Stokley Carmichael, William Hastie, Bayard Rustin, Ruth Turner, Claire Collins Harvey, Aaron Henry, Andrew Young, Gilbert Moses, and Ralph Ellison. Topics include racism throughout the United States, school integration, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE), education, employment, nonviolent protest, peace activism, black nationalism and pride, civil rights legislation, religion and spirituality, the role of whites in the civil rights movement, Abraham Lincoln, African culture, the Free Southern Theatre, and the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC).


Kentucky Writers Oral History Project

Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries

Kentucky writers discuss their lives, careers, publications, and the influence of Kentucky on their work. Collection includes 107 oral history interviews with Kentucky writers including Robert Penn Warren, Wendell Berry, Barbara Kingsolver, Elizabeth Hardwick, George Ella Lyon, Nikky Finny, James Still, Bobbie Ann Mason, Gurney Norman, Sue Grafton, Crystal Wilkinson, Frank X. Walker, and many more.