The Thomas Merton Center at Bellarmine University

Advanced Search 

Merton's Correspondence with:

Clayton Eshleman; Ira Clayton Eshleman, Jr.; Eshleman, Ira Clayton, Jr.

Eshleman, Clayton, 1935-  printer


Descriptive Summary

Record Group: Section A - Correspondence
Dates of materials: 1963-1967
Volume: 35 item(s); 53 pg(s)

Scope and Content


Clayton Eshleman is a poet now living in Ypsilanti, Michigan. He was born in Indianapolis in 1935. In college he became interested in world poetry, and learned Spanish in order to read and translate the works of Cesar Vallejo and Pablo Neruda and to . He first wrote to Merton while in Kyoto where he was teaching English, responding to a letter of Merton's printed in El Corno Emplumado. Later, he met Merton after having returned to Indiana as a professor at University of Indiana. He came for a visit with his wife on April 23, 1965. Eshleman was not very happy in Indiana and moved to Peru later in 1965. Some unfortunate events happened in Peru and he would only stay there a year; however, he became very socially involved after having witness the slums of Lima. He then moved to New York and founded the literary magazine Caterpillar in 1967. (Source: "A Brief Biography and Complete CV". Clayton Eshleman website. Accessed 2004/12/06. ‹›.)

Usage Guidelines and Restrictions

Please click here for general restrictions concerning Merton's correspondence.

Related Information and Links

See also published letters from Merton to Eshleman in The Courage for Truth, pp. 254-266; and see also the "Vignati, Alejandro" file.

Other Finding Aids

If the person in correspondence with Merton has full text records in the Merton Center Digital Collections, there will be a numeric link to them below.

Series List

This Record Sub-Group is not divided into Series and is arranged chronologically.

Container List

Click icons for links: ✓="Published | Library Record", ✉="Scanned" | 🗷="Scanned, Viewable Only at Merton Center"

#DateFrom/ToFirst LinesPub ✓Notes
 y/m/dMerton Scan ✉ 
1. 1963/05/27 TALS to Merton I read your letter printed in the last issue of EL CORNO EMPLUMADO and it moved me to write to you. «detailed view»
2. 1963/06/no? (#01) TAL[c] from Merton It takes time to get to a letter like yours, from among the other letters of editors, and of crazies «detailed view»
3. 1963/06/no? (#02) TL[x] from Merton It takes time to get to a letter like yours, from among the other letters of editors, and of crazies [no addressee - entitled, "Letter to a poet about Vallejo" - published both in The Courage for Truth and in The Merton Annual, Volume 2, p. 27-28] «detailed view»
4. 1963/07/21 TLS to Merton well, I guess I think more in terms of Van Gogh's letters when I think of someone else and Vallejo. «detailed view»
5. 1964/12/29 (#01) TLS to Merton going thru some old letters tonight I found yours and felt bad I had not sent you the Neruda which I «detailed view»
6. 1964/12/29 (#02) other to Merton César, so quickly have I understood why [-] there has been three years of us, why I have bent [poem signed by Eshleman] «detailed view»
7. 1965/01/22 TL[c] from Merton It is unfortunate that I am so drowned in letters to answer that I don't get around to the ones «detailed view»
8. 1965/01/26 HLS to Merton Sure, send anyone alive my way. Very lonesome around here. No one to talk to «detailed view»
9. 1965/02/19 (#01) other   niemonjima/movement two/6 [-] second movement [-] And Yorunomado stood in the howling bay, [manuscript of Eshleman's Niemonjima, pp. 6-11 - contains a signed note on the last page (see next record)] «detailed view»
10. 1965/02/19 (#02) HNS to Merton This is the 2nd part of the third book of my Regeneration. I thought along with other things [on last page of manuscript of Eshleman's Niemonjima, pp. 6-11 (see previous record)] «detailed view»
11. 1965/03/11 TAL[c] from Merton About April, by all means bring your wife, it is a nice drive and I can talk to her too, why not? «detailed view»
12. 1965/05/15 TPCS to Merton we enjoyed the visit with you a great deal and I must apologize for not writing before or sending [verso: photo of a stone mask of Tezcatlipoca from Mexico] «detailed view»
13. 1965/05/25 TL[c] from Merton Well, the only people I know in Peru are the widow Vallejo and a Benedictine priest who is up «detailed view»
14. 1965/06/18 TALS to Merton thanks for your note and the letter before. Your words had sting to them (re "go to S.A. if you «detailed view»
15. 1965/08/03 TPCS to Merton I with you were journeying down with me to S.A. You wld [sic] be a welcome companion. [copy placed among source file, see "Fox, James", Series 29 / having been kept in files by Dom James, it might have been given by Merton to Dom James or more likely kept from Merton by Dom James Fox because of the invitation to come to South America] «detailed view»
16. 1965/10/07 HLS to Merton Vignati showed me a recent letter of yours yesterday in which you expressed surprise that I so «detailed view»
17. 1965/11/08 TL[c] from Merton It was good to get your long letter. Glad you are there. Sure, I guess you are right in about «detailed view»
18. 1966/01/28 TL[c] from Merton Your letter of Dec. 21st didn't get to me until two or three days ago. Sure, you are right that «detailed view»
19. 1966/02/no? (#01) HLS to Merton I was forced to quit (i.e., put myself in a position where they fired me) with a magazine I was «detailed view»
20. 1966/02/no? (#02) other   Hace algunos días me comunico el señor Conrad Spohnholz, Director del Instituto Cultural Peruano [newspaper clipping by Eshleman dated 1966/02/06 - "Primera y ultima noticia de 'Quena'"] «detailed view»
21. 1966/03/16 TL[c] from Merton I was very sorry to hear about the magazine. From what you sent, it looked as though it would have «detailed view»
22. 1966/04/08 TALS to Merton 7 a.m. bleak Lima morning. I'll answer your letter and get to work. Ok, let's forget [verso of letter contains a poem by Eshleman from Human Poems, "Contrary to those mountain birds"...] «detailed view»
23. 1966/05/08 TL[c] from Merton Lot of things have happened since I last wrote to you. Mainly I had to go into the hospital for one «detailed view»
24. 1966/10/15 TALS to Merton I've not written because I've wanted to get thru the various mimeos you sent before I did. «detailed view»
25. 1966/10/18 TL[c] from Merton First of all I will certainly write something for the Guggenheim people if you want me to, [end of letter cuts off at the bottom of the page so that part is missing] «detailed view»
26. 1966/10/21 TALS to Merton your letter moves me, mostly because of the Louisville postal stamp, that you should be in that «detailed view»
27. 1966/11/10 TL[c] from Merton I sent you my last letter when I was just entering the hospital for some tests-- nothing special. «detailed view»
28. 1966/12/28 TL[c] from Merton I write this fast so I wont forget and leave Lacrymae without any answer, I like the three poems [dated December "26 or 28"] «detailed view»
29. 1966/12/no? HNS[x] to Merton Haven't written, I guess, because I haven't read your bk of essays yet. --Tho that title in itself [copy from the first page of a manuscript of Eshleman's "Lachrymae Mateo: 3 poems for Christmas 1966" in Caterpillar, number three] «detailed view»
30. 1967/02/20 (#01) TLS to Merton I thought you might like to see this. I was one of the 23. One of the girls with us wrote a 3 page «detailed view»
31. 1967/02/20 (#02) other   AD HOC DEFENSE COMMITTEE (for the St. Patrick's demonstrators) P.O. Box 327, Stuyvesant Station [describes the group formed in support of the 23 protesters of Cardinal Spellman's support of the Vietnam war] «detailed view»
32. 1967/02/27 HLS from Merton Thanks for your letter and the information about the Ad Hoc Committee. Will [written from St. Joseph Infirmary in Louisville on its stationary] «detailed view»
33. 1967/08/17 TL[c] from Merton Delighted to hear of the new magazine. Will send things and am sending first this. New. «detailed view»
34. 1967/08/no? HNS to Merton hope you are well. Why didn't you answer the St. Patrick's Witnesses Petition I sent you [written on an announcement of a new literary quarterly entitled Caterpillar] «detailed view»
35. 1967/09/03 TL[c] from Merton Thanks for your letter. I note the change of address. The main thing I want to write about «detailed view»

Printer-Friendly Version   Return to the Top of the Page