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Thomas Zvi Wilson Papers

Call Number: RH MS 1344


Thomas Zvi Wilson was a Kansas poet and artist whose work was published in many literary journals. The collection includes poems by Thomas Zvi Wilson as well as by Jeanie Wilson, his wife. Also included are early drafts, edits and critiques of Wilson's poetry, correspondence, article clippings, sketches and notes, and other materials related to the Wilsons' writings and to Thomas Wilson's volunteer efforts at the Kansas State Penitentiary.


  • Creation: 1951 - 2012


Conditions Governing Access

No access restrictions.

Conditions Governing Use

Spencer Library staff may determine use restrictions dependent on the physical condition of manuscript materials.

Biographies of Thomas Zvi Wilson and Jeanie Wilson

Thomas Zvi Wilson was born in Brooklyn, New York in 1931, and his early childhood was heavily influenced by his Orthodox Jewish upbringing. After serving in the Korean War, Wilson returned to the United States and expressed himself through sculpture and painting. He retired from his job as Vice-President and Chief Financial Officer with Fry Wagner Moving and Storage in 2000.

Later in life, he embraced poetry as his primary art form. In a creative writing class at the University of Missouri - Kansas City, he met the poet Jeanie Haggerton; they married in 1991.

Thomas Zvi Wilson wrote a collection of poems titled Deliberate and Accidental Acts, published in 1996 by BkMk Press, for which he also designed many book covers. Jeanie Wilson's book Uncurling was published in 2000 by Mid-America Press, and Jeanie and Tom's collaborative work The Door into the Dream, also published by Mid-America Press, was released in 2006.

Thomas Wilson was an active member of The Writer's Place, a literary organization in Kansas City, Missouri. He served as a board member and as Vice President for the organization. He also spent several years volunteering at the Kansas State Penitentiary, helping to organize seminars and Judaic Studies classes for the inmates.

After years of failing health, Thomas Wilson died in 2012.

Jeanie (Haggerton) Wilson was born in Eureka, Kansas, and is primarily known for her poetry. From 1983 to 1986, the Kansas Library Association and the Kansas State School for the Visually Handicapped sponsored a statewide exhibit of Jeanie's poetry and photography. This exhibit would later be recognized by Governor John Carlin at the State Captiol in 1986.

Jeanie Wilson has been awarded the Barbara Storck Creative Writing Award and has lectured at the University of Missouri - Kansas City and at Rockhurst University in Kansas City, Missouri. From 1995 - 2006, she served as the Director of the Title V-A and the School Renovation Program for Missouri schools.

Jeanie Wilson still curates the Thomas Zvi Wilson Reading Series at the Johnson County Central Resource Library in Overland Park, Kansas. She also serves as an emeritus member for The Writers Place.

[Information pulled from collection materials.]


13 Linear Feet (14 boxes + 5 oversize folders, 6 oversize boxes, 1 document case, 8 video tapes)

Language of Materials


Scope and Contents

The Thomas Zvi Wilson collection includes a large amount of Wilson's poetry, including early drafts, edits, and critiques of poems by his associates. Also included is Wilson's correspondence with several friends, as well as poetry by his wife, Jeanie (Haggerton) Wilson. The materials are largely from the years 1980-2005. Jeanie Wilson is referred to by her name at the time of each specific document (Jeanie Haggerton prior to 1991, Jeanie Wilson after her marriage in 1991).

Thomas Zvi Wilson had a system of giving each of his poems a specific code in order to organize and keep track of them. Many of the poems in this collection have this code on them. Some of the codes are short for categories as follows: NGT - Night, RLT - Relationship, HLC - Hell Crow, MISC - Miscellaneous, HIKU - Haiku, BK - Book, SLVG - Salvage, DVLP - Develop, XX - Useless/Scrap.

Physical Location

RH MS 1344

Physical Location

RH MS Q494

Physical Location

RH MS R367

Physical Location

RH MS R368

Physical Location

RH Video 47

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gifts, Jeanie Wilson, 2013, 2014, 2019.

Separated Materials

Three volumes have been cataloged separately:

Wilson, Jeanie and Thomas Zvi Wilson. The Door into the Dream. Warrensburg, Mo.: Mid-America Press, 2006. Located at Spencer Research Library at RH C11819.

Wilson, Jeanie. Uncurling: Poems. Warrensburg, Mo.: Mid-America Press, 2000. Located at Spencer Research Library at RH C11820.

Wilson, Thomas Zvi. Deliberate and Accidental Acts: Poems. Kansas City, Mo.: Bk Mk Press/University of Missouri-Kansas City, 1996. Located at Spencer Research Library at RH C11821.


Guide to the Thomas Zvi Wilson Collection
Thomas Zvi Wilson Papers
Finding aid prepared by hc. Finding aid encoded by hc. Revised by eear, 2015; mmj, 2022.
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Finding aid written in English
Finding aid permalink
Preferred citation
Thomas Zvi Wilson Collection, RH MS 1344, Kenneth Spencer Research Library, University of Kansas.

Repository Details

Part of the University of Kansas. Kenneth Spencer Research Library Repository

1450 Poplar Lane
Lawrence KS 66045-7616 United States