Mary Lily Travel Grant recipient Julie R. Enszer recently completed her second visit to the Sallie Bingham Center for Women’s History and Culture to conduct research for her dissertation project, which investigates the production of lesbian-feminist print culture in the United States between 1969 and 1989.

While Julie was here, she used materials from these collections:

Minnie Bruce Pratt at the Academy of American Poets awards ceremony, May 16, 1989.

Minnie Bruce Pratt at the Academy of American Poets awards ceremony, May 16, 1989. From the Minnie Bruce Pratt Papers. Photo by Dorothy Alexander.

Reflecting on her research experience, Enszer writes that the Minnie Bruce Pratt Papers were “one of the most exciting collections that I worked with. This may be in part because I have been a fan of Pratt’s poetry and writing since the late 1980s, but it is also certainly due to the fact that this is an extensive and thorough collection.”

She continues, “One aspect of my dissertation focuses on the literary appraisals of lesbian writing and a significant portion of the chapter discusses the Lamont Prize [given by the Academy of American Poets] in 1989 given to Minnie Bruce Pratt for Crime Against Nature. There are extensive documents on this event in the archive, but my favorite archival item is the outfit that Pratt wore to the award ceremony at the Guggenheim: a two-piece, cotton Batik. The shirt is light green with a lavender smock on the front edged by pink. It is both festive and feminine while distinctly conveying ‘lesbian.’”

Thanks to Dorothy Alexander for letting us use her photo of Minnie Bruce Pratt at the 1989 Academy of American Poets awards ceremony in this post. You can see more of her work on her website.

Post contributed by Kelly Wooten, Research Services and Collection Development Librarian for the Sallie Bingham Center for Women’s History and Culture , with thanks to Julie R. Enszer.




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