Skip to Content

Tom Grimes

Tom Grimes Papers

Author Tom Grimes by Jody Grimes 
Author photo by Jody Grimes



The Wittliff Collections at Texas State University in San Marcos have acquired the papers of nationally acclaimed writer Tom Grimes. Grimes is the author of five novels, a play, and a memoir. He edited “The Workshop: Seven Decades from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop,” the creative writing program from which he graduated. He currently directs the MFA Program in Creative Writing at Texas State and serves as executive editor of the literary journal Front Porch.

“I’m honored by the fact that the Wittliff Collections have given my literary archive a home alongside those of Cormac McCarthy, Sam Shepard, and other amazing writers and photographers,” said Grimes. “Everyone at the Wittliff has my deepest gratitude.”

Grimes’ novels include A Stone of the Heart, Season’s End, City of God,, and Redemption Song. He has twice been a finalist for the PEN/Nelson Algren Award, and his work has been selected as a New York Times Notable Book of the Year. Mentor: A Memoir, which recounts his friendship with Frank Conroy, author of the classic memoir Stop-Time and longtime director of the Iowa Writers Workshop, was named “A 2010 Best Nonfiction Book of the Year” by the Washington Post and listed among Barnes & Noble’s Top 100 “Best Books of 2010,” Top 40 “Best Biographies of 2010,” and Top 7 “Best Literary Biographies of 2010.” In 2011 it was a finalist for the PEN USA Award for Nonfiction.

“We are proud to announce the acquisition of Tom Grimes’ literary archive,” said David Coleman, director of the Wittliff Collections. “As a gifted writer, and inspiring teacher, Tom has had a powerful influence upon the literary life of our university, our state, and our region.”

The Tom Grimes Papers are comprised of manuscripts, research, correspondence with editors, publishers and agents, as well as interviews, reviews, clippings and photographs documenting the author’s career. Also included is correspondence with an extensive list of contemporaries, among them Tim O’Brien, Don DeLillo, Barry Hannah, Abraham Verghese, and Charles D’Ambrosio.

Grimes, along with Bill Johnson and the support of the Burdine Johnson Foundation, led the campaign to save and restore the Katherine Anne Porter House in Kyle. It was designated a National Literary Landmark in 2002 by Laura Bush. A comprehensive record of the project is preserved within the Grimes archive, including his essay “Courting Miss Porter.”

Tom Grimes' papers will be accessible to researchers, students, and the public once they have been processed and cataloged.


Preliminary Inventory of the Tom Grimes Papers
Accession 2012-153

This collection contains material related to the writing career of Tom Grimes. Included in this donation are drafts of Grimes’ published and unpublished work, articles, photographs, correspondence, promotional material, and items from Grimes’ position as director of the Texas State MFA program and his involvement in the dedication of the Katherine Anne Porter House in Kyle, TX.

Listed below is a preliminary inventory for the Tom Grimes Papers. Please note that access to unprocessed materials is granted on a case-by-case basis. Please contact the archivist for details about access.

1551/1 Correspondence-“Don DeLillo”
1551/2 Correspondence-“Abraham Verghese & Elizabeth McCracker”
1551/3 Correspondence-“Barry Hannah”
1551/4 Correspondence-“Charlie D’Ambrosio”
1551/5 Correspondence-“Thom Jones”
1551/6 MFA program-newspapers, “Saving Literature” by Robin Bradford, and SWTS brochure
1551/7 Photographs-includes photos of the MET production of Grimes’ play New World and
    photos of the Wiley’s Way writers
1551/8 Photographs-Tim O’Brien and Tom Grimes plus Christmas cards from Tim O’Brien
1551/9 “Contracts”
1551/10 Audiocassette interview with Charlie D’Ambrosio
1551/11 MFA-Assessment of the MFA in Creative Writing at Southwest Texas State University 1996
1551/12 Book reviews for others
1551/13 Correspondence-“Frank and Maggie Conroy”
1551/14 Correspondence-Tim O’Brien
1551/15-16 Correspondence documenting Grimes’ literary career-with editors, publishers,
    agents, and other writers including Robert Stone, etc.
1551/17 Correspondence-includes first rough draft of Wiley’s Way
1551/18 Book reviews and interviews with Grimes
1551/19 Correspondence-“Curt Engelhorn/Angel Foundation” KAP house
1551/20 Nuevo Mundo by Grimes-Draft, Spanish translation by Jorge Bosso, 2000
1551/21-22 Katherine Anne Porter House material
1551/23 Newspapers-MFA program and KAP house

1552/1 Photographs-Katherine Anne Porter house and dedication, plus photos of Tom Grimes
1552/2 Correspondence-photocopy of letter from Laura Bush, about the Texas Book Festival, December 13, 2001
1552/3 Journal-Format Art & the World, Winter 1982, with article by Grimes (2 copies)
1552/4 Correspondence related to Grimes’ literary career including drafts of articles and book reviews
1552/5 Journal-Fifth Wednesday, Spring 2009, with article by Grimes
1552/6 Journal-Tin House, Summer 2009, essay by Grimes
1552/7 proof
1552/8 Book-Stop-time by Frank Conroy
1552/9 Book-Body & Soul by Frank Conroy
1552/10 Book-Dedicated to the People of Darfur, with essay by Grimes
1552/11 Journal-Tin House, Winter 2008, with essay by Grimes
1552/12 Magazine-Narrative, Spring 2008, article by Grimes
1552/13 Wiley’s Way-autographed (2 copies)
1552/14 Magazine-Bark, July/Aug 2009 with article by Grimes
1552/15 Videocassette-Spec (2-C)
1552/16 Videocassette-Dedication of the Katherine Anne Porter House, June 13, 2002
1552/17 Seven worn down pencils used by Grimes in writing his first drafts
1552/18 Videocassette-Katherine Anne Porter Dedication on the Today Show with Laura Bush,
    Bill Johnson, and Tom Grimes

1553/1 Ink stamp-“Stupid funny, intravenously hilarious, Dagoberto Gilb”
1553/2 Season’s End-Handbook for writing and publishing a book “From Manuscript to Printed
    Book” laid inside are three notecards with alternate titles for Season’s End
1553/3 Season’s End-Handwritten notes on a small legal pad
1553/4 Season’s End-Newspaper clippings, plus partial draft
1553/5 Season’s End-Notes, research material, and newspaper clippings
1553/6 Season’s End-Book jacket
1553/7 Season’s End-Book jacket
1553/8 Season’s End-Reviews, correspondence, jacket photos, and royalty statements
1553/9 Season’s End-Book contract with Little, Brown and Company, Feb. 4, 1991
1553/10 Season’s End-1990 New York Mets Information Guide
1553/11 Season’s End-Small memo notepad plus handwritten notes on torn out sheets of notebook paper
1553/12 Season’s End-Reviews and research (?) articles
1553/13 Season’s End-Newspapers/Book reviews
Artifact: Baseball glove and baseball

1554/1 Season’s End-Handwritten draft “Book I 8/28/89 to 11/7/89”
1554/2 Season’s End-First typed draft of what became Season’s End, 1984
1554/3 Season’s End-Handwritten draft in spiral notebook “Book II December ’89-7/17/90”
1554/4 Season’s End-Handwritten draft in spiral notebook
1554/5 Season’s End-Book reviews, correspondence, and newspaper clippings
1554/6 Season’s End-NY Mets press pass and two holiday cards from the Mets
1554/7 Diploma-Master of Fine Arts, University of Iowa, Thomas Grimes
1554/8 Redemption Song-Letters from publishers
1554/9-10 Redemption Song aka Superbad-Typed draft
1554/11 Redemption Song aka Superbad-photocopies of handwritten notes plus partial draft with edits
1554/12-14 Redemption Song aka Superbad-Drafts with heavy corrections
1554/15 Redemption Song aka Superbad-Superbad drafts with corrections
1554/16 Redemption Song aka Superbad-drafts with corrections
1554/17 Redemption Song aka Superbad-Photocopies of handwritten notes plus drafts with corrections
1554/18 Redemption Song aka Superbad-Draft “What’s so Funny ‘Bout Peace, Love and Understanding”
1554/19 Redemption Song aka Superbad-Draft “Empire Dreams”
1554/20 Redemption Song aka Superbad-Draft plus handwritten notes “Kismet”
1554/21 Redemption Song aka Superbad-Drafts “A Night’s Tale”

1555/1 Redemption Song aka Superbad-French published edition of Superbad (2 copies)
1555/2 Redemption Song aka Superbad-Handwritten drafts in spiral notebooks
1555/3 Redemption Song aka Superbad-Handwritten drafts in spiral notebooks
1555/4 Redemption Song aka Superbad-Handwritten drafts in spiral notebooks
1555/5 Redemption Song aka Superbad-Handwritten drafts in spiral notebooks
1555/6 Redemption Song aka Superbad-Handwritten drafts in spiral notebooks
1555/7 Redemption Song aka Superbad-Handwritten drafts in spiral notebooks
1555/8 City of God-correspondence
1555/9 City of God-Norton book of published works, includes City of God
1555/10 City of God-Book jacket
1555/11 City of God-Book jacket
1555/12 City of God-Book jacket
1555/13 City of God-Handwritten draft in spiral notebook
1555/14 City of God-Handwritten draft “Original note book”
1555/15 City of God-Handwritten draft in spiral notebook
1555/16 Correspondence-Laura Bush, June 21, 2002 about the Katherine Anne Porter house
1555/17 City of God-Photocopies of book reviews
1555/18 City of God-Book reviews (newspapers)
1555/19 City of God-Notes from editor (?)
1555/20-21 City of God-Draft 1
1555/22 City of God-Published book

1556/1-2 City of God-Draft 3
1556/3 City of God-Excerpts with galley pages
1556/4 City of God-Floppy disk 11/30/93
1556/5 City of God-Published book
1556/6 City of God-Published book French edition
1556/7 City of God-Contract, reviews, royalty statements, and correspondence
1556/8 A Stone of the Heart-Book jacket
1556/9 A Stone of the Heart-Book jacket
1556/10 A Stone of the Heart-Correspondence
1556/11, 1997
1556/13 draft in spiral notebook
1556/14 cards
1556/15 stand-up book display (3)
1556/16 proof
1556/17 book
1556/18 jacket
1556/19, PR, and research
1556/20 draft in spiral notebook
1556/21 A Stone of the Heart/
1556/22 A Stone of the Heart-Correspondence and first draft

Box 1557 (7 of 13)
1557/1-2 A Stone of the Heart-First draft “Domestic Depravities”
1557/3 A Stone of the Heart-Reviews
1557/4 Wiley’s Way-Correspondence (including a letter from Laura Bush), correspondence,
    questionnaires completed by young readers
1557/5 Quote stamps-with quotes by Denis Johnson, Tim O’Brien, and Thom Jones
1557/6 The Workshop-Reviews, correspondence, and royalty statements
1557/7 The Workshop-Published book
1557/8 The Workshop-Published book, paperback and hardback copies
1557/9 The Workshop-Reviews, interview with Tom Grimes, and royalty statements
1557/10-12 The Workshop-Draft, original text with intros to stories

1558/1 The Workshop-Book jacket
1558/2-4 The Workshop-“Permissions/Authors Contacts” includes letters and intros from    contributors
1558/5 The Workshop-“Research for my intro essay / Eagleton-Theory”
1558/6 The Workshop-“Permissions”
1558/7 The Workshop-Handwritten draft in spiral notebook
1558/8 The Workshop-Correspondence, contract, and reviews
1558/9-10 The Workshop-Commencement records from the Writers’ Workshop
1558/11 The Workshop-Correspondence
1558/12 The Workshop-Contract Agreement, draft
1558/13-16 The Workshop-Draft including original articles
1558/17 Mentor-Proofs
1558/18 Mentor-Galley pages

1559/1 Mentor-Copy edited manuscript. Plus correspondence from Tin House, Jan. 28, 2010
1559/2 Mentor-Requests for reprints plus editor comments
1559/3-4 Mentor-Manuscript
1559/5-6 Mentor-First draft
1559/7 Mentor-Galley
1559/8 Mentor-Publicity cards
1559/9 Mentor-Published book, hardback and paperback copies
1559/10 Redemption Song-Edited draft
1559/11 Correspondence
1559/12 Correspondence & various publications
1559/13 Mentor-Reviews
1559/14 Correspondence
1559/15 Contract for “The White Book”
1559/16 Five pens from Ludlow Press
1559/17 Katherine Anne Porter-Three sheets of KAP stamps, stamped envelopes from the first
    day of stamp issue, and a newspaper article about the stamps

1560/1 Handwritten notes/draft in bound journal
1560/2 Handwritten notes in small pocket journal, and numerical records in memo pad
1560/3 A Stone of the Heart-Royalty statements, contract, and correspondence
1560/4 Correspondence and various publications
1560/5 The Bridge-Proof, and a published copy of The Southwest Review with correspondence
1560/6 “Contracts”
1560/7 Draft of “Courting Miss Porter,” published in Tin House #19
1560/8 “Reviews”
1560/9 “The Prozac Variations”-Draft, essay published in Darfur anthology
1560/10 MET Theater-Reviews and two photographs
1560/11 Photographs-Military (?), Japan (?)
1560/12 The Late Henry Moss/Spec-Reviews
1560/13 New World-Draft
1560/14 Unproduced Screenplay-Handwritten draft in spiral notebook
1560/15 Correspondence, royalty statement, drafts for articles
1560/16 Reviews and articles about the MFA program
1560/17 Journal-Central Park, Fall 1986 with article by Grimes “The Futility of Fiction”
1560/18 Journal-Format Art & the World, Winter 1982, contains Grimes first published story
    “Be on Your Avant-Garde”
1560/19 Spec-Correspondence, draft
1560/20 Spec-Rehearsal notes for Spec 1991, handwritten in spiral notepad
1560/21 Spec-The Red Barn Theater program
1560/22 Spec-Programs, ads, PR
1560/23 Spec-Draft, plus correspondence and a program
1560/24 Spec-Photograph of Grimes and actors from Spec
1560/25 Spec-Poster
1560/26 Record Keeping-handwritten notes in small memo book
1560/27 Rachel Eliza Griffiths postcards (2)
1560/28 Videocassette-WSUI Presents “Live from Prairie Lights” featuring Tom Grimes 9/28/90

Small books collection:
-Divine Love and Wisdom by Swedenborg [Given to Grimes by his grandfather]
-Heaven and its Wonders and Hell by Swedenborg [Given to Grimes by his grandfather]
-Choice of Books [Given to Grimes by his grandfather]
-The Divine Providence by Swedenborg [Given to Grimes by his grandfather]
-Sons and Lovers by D.H. Lawrence
-Sonnets of This Century edited by William Sharp
-The Tudor Shakespeare Hamlet
-You and I and the Stars by William Timothy Call
-Courtship of Miles Standish by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
-Proverbs Army and Navy Edition
-The Murders in the Rue Morgue by Edgar Allan Poe
-Dreams by Olive Schreiner
-History of Life of King Henry VIII by William Shakespeare

1562/1 Drawing-Original drawing from 1929 by Albert Sterner (plus accompanying matting,
    drawing was removed from a frame)
1562/2 Photographs (2)-b/w photos of Bill Johnson’s Halifax Ranch (along the Blanco River outside of Kyle, TX)
1563/3 Posters: Spec (2), New World (1)

Box 1563 (13 of 13)
1563/1 Katherine Anne Porter House-Photocopies of newspapers from San Marcos and Kyle
    about the dedication
1563/2 Magazines: The Writer’s Chronicle, March/April 2011 (2); Austin Review of Books,
             Oct. 13, 2010 (5); Pasatiempo, Aug. 6-12, 2010 (1)
1563/3 Newspapers including clippings of reviews, interviews, etc.

SWWC Mapcase Drawer 24
Four posters, 27” x 17”
Original painting for Wiley’s Way, 36” x 23”