Jenny Lind Porter & the Texas Poets' Corner
Jenny Lind Porter
Jenny Lind Porter earned both her B.A. & M.A. from Texas Christian University, a Ph.D. from The University of Texas at Austin, an honorary doctorate from the University of Free Asia (1970), and a Distinguished Diploma of Honor from Pepperdine University (1979)1. Dr. Porter was the Professor of English at West Texas State University from 1959-1961. Dr. Porter published numerous poems and books. This earned her prestigious awards from the Poetry Society of America (1940), and the Texas Institute of Letters (2000). Dr. Porter also earned the title of Poet Laureate of Texas (1964) and induction into the Texas Women's Hall of Fame (1985).
- Texas Women's University. (2016, Oct. 5). Jenny Lind Porter. Retrieved from https://twu.edu/twhf/honorees/jenny-lind-porter/
The Texas Poets' Corner
Dr. Porter and her husband, Lawrence E. Scott, donated their rare book collection, art, and antique furnishings to the Cornette Library in order to establish the Texas Poets' Corner.
At the core of the collections are approximately 1,800 rare books, numerous pieces of furniture, artwork, photographs, and manuscripts. Valued at above $250,000, the gift consists of:
- First editions of Nathaniel Hawthorne's Scarlet Letter and House of Seven Gables.
- A 1787 supplementary printing of the Edinburgh edition of Robert Burns' Poems, Chiefly in the Scottish Dialect.
- A first edition of Emily Dickinson's Poems, Second Series.
- A 1605 book of the writings of the Roman philosopher Seneca.
- A collection of poems by Francis Scott Key, thought to include the first appearance of "The Star Spangled Banner" in a book.
- O. Henry's original handwritten manuscript for his short story, "A Fog in Santone".
The artwork includes the painting, "Hazy Day," by Texas artist, M. Walton Leader and a carving of Stephen F. Austin by renowned sculptor and wood-carver Peter Mansbendel.
The book collection consists primarily of:
- Texas literature
- Significant contribution by J. Frank Dobie, renowned folklorist.
- Casa Magni Collection
- British and American literature by such notable writers as: O. Henry, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Katherine Anne Porter, Emily Dickinson, Robert Burns, Washington Irving, and Robert Browning.
Policies and Procedures
Who May Use the Texas Poets' Corner?
- Anyone doing research with special collections materials may use the Texas Poets' Corner. Visitors who wish to look at the artwork and exhibits in the Room are also welcome. Adults must accompany children under 14 years of age to enter and/or use the Reading Room.
- Special Collections materials must be used in the Casa Magni area of the Texas Poets' Corner.
- Please complete a registration form. Completion of a registration form is only required once a year based on the Academic Year. If you have a current registration form on file, you will only be asked for current photo-identification.
- You must present a current form of photo-identification, if you wish to use special collections materials.
- Visitors only wishing to look at artwork or view exhibits do not have to complete a registration form or show current photo-id.
- No more than two people may use special collections materials at the same time. Exceptions include classes booked in advance by instructors. Availability is on a first-come, first-served basis.
- Group tours of the Reading Room are available, but must be scheduled in advance by calling (806) 651-2208.
- Please sign our patron guest book, before entering the Texas Poets' Corner.
- Please leave purses, backpacks, briefcases, containers larger than 9.5" x 6.25", raincoats, overcoats, and cutting implements (e.g. scissors) in one of the lockers before entering the Reading Room. Lockers are located near the entrance to the Reading Room. Cameras, tape recorders, and hand-held scanners may be used in the Reading Rooms with the permission of Special Collections staff. We are not responsible for personal items left in lockers.
- Items allowed into the Texas Poets' Corner are: paper, binders, notebooks, pencils (not pens), personal books, laptops, and service animals.
- All Special Collections materials may only be used in the Texana area of the Texas Poets' Corner. No Special Collections items may be checked out or removed from the Reading Room.
- Complete a request slip at the Special Collections Desk for those items you wish to use. All Special Collections items are considered "closed stack" and are pulled and brought to patrons by Special Collections staff.
- Special Collections staff will pull items for patrons, when given at least 24 hours notice. You may request that Special Collections staff hold (do not reshelve) item(s) for 72 hours.
- The Special Collections staff in the Reading Room is there to assist patrons with their research and to enforce our Reading Room policies. For security purposes the Special Collections staff reserve the right to check all patrons' papers and books before they leave.
- Special Collections staff reserve the right to restrict access to materials that have not been processed, are fragile, and/or have legal restrictions. In some cases, copies of materials may be used, but not originals.
- Special Collections staff reserve the right to check all patrons' papers and books when leaving the Reading Room.
- The Texas Poets' Corner is open from 9:00 AM to 12:00 PM and 1:00 PM to 4:30 PM, Monday through Thursday. Special Collections staff will give 30 and 15 minutes notice before closing.
Books Available for Purchase
The following books by Jenny Lind Porter are available for purchase in the Special Collections Unit or online from the WTAMU Bookstore.
- O. Henry, Witter Bynner, and "A Fog in Santone" - $29.95
- Jenny Lind Porter follows O. Henry from Greensboro, North Carolina to Texas and eventually to New York. There, by 1902, O. Henry began a swift ascent to fame and soon had many friends among New York editors. One of these was a young editor named Witter Bynner, who was one of the first to discover O. Henry. Porter's book deals with the relationship between the two men, one that according to Porter caused O. Henry to give Bynner two of his handwritten manuscripts as a gift. Bynner, himself, later became a well-known poet, translator, playwright, and critic.
- El Sol Colorado - $29.00
- Jenny Lind Porter writes about the man the Comanches called El Sol Colorado, Baron von Meusebach. Meusebach arrived in Texas as head of the German Immigration Society. In 1845-1846, she led nearly 7,000 colonists from Texas' gulf coast to the interior of Texas, where he founded the city of Fredericksburg.
- Joe and Billy - $19.95
- Unpublished until 2004, this heretofore unknown O. Henry children's story is about Joe, a boy who lives on a sheep ranch in Texas, and his friend, a ram named Billy. Jenny Lind Porter's introductory essay tells the story behind the story, and provides new insights into O. Henry's life and career. Kay Campbell's illustrations are charming.