Texas Archival Resources Online

TABLE OF CONTENTS


Overview

Biographical Note

Scope and Contents of the Collection

Arrangement of the Collection

Restrictions

Access Terms

Related Material

Administrative Information

Description of Series

Student work and correspondence, 1977-2011

Literary works, 1980s-2010

Southern Methodist University

Joe Coomer papers

A Guide



Overview

Creator: Coomer, Joe
Title: Joe Coomer papers
Inclusive Dates: 1977-2011
Abstract: Texas author Joe Coomer is known for his witty novels set in Texas and Maine. Coomer has also published two non-fiction works about building his house in Texas and restoring a motorsailer in Maine, one volume of poetry, short stories, book reviews and essays. This collection contains his student work, published and unpublished works, business files, and correspondence.
Accession No: A2012.0060
Extent: 16 boxes (15 linear feet)
Language: Material is in English
Repository DeGolyer Library, Southern Methodist University

Biographical Note

Joseph Alan Coomer was born November 3, 1958, in Ft. Worth, Texas. Coomer attended the University of Kentucky from 1977-1979, and the University of Texas at Arlington for one semester before attending Southern Methodist University. He graduated from SMU in 1981 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English, with a specialization in creative writing. Coomer’s first novel, The Decatur Road, won the Jones Fiction Prize from the Texas Institute of Letters in 1984. In addition to his eight published novels, Coomer has written non-fiction works about building his house in Texas (Dream House) and restoring a motorsailer in Maine (Sailing in a Spoonful of Water). In 2008, he published his first book of poetry entitled Good Dog : Fifty Poems at Fifty.

Coomer and his wife Isabelle Tokumaru split their time living in Azle, Texas and in coastal Maine. During his early writing career, Coomer worked in his family lumber yard business. Many of his books have been optioned for film rights, and a film adaptation of The Loop was released in 2011 as “A Bird of the Air.”

Bibliography:

1983 The Decatur Road

1985 Kentucky Love

1986 A Flatland Fable

1991 Dream House

1992 The Loop

1997 Sailing in a Spoonful of Water

1997 Beachcombing for a Shipwrecked God

1999 Apologizing to Dogs

2003 One Vacant Chair

2005 Pocketful of Names

2008 Good Dog : Fifty Poems at Fifty

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Scope and Contents of the Collection

Joe Coomer’s papers reflect his writer’s life beginning as a college freshman. His student papers, drafts of novels in longhand, notes, and publisher correspondence provide an interesting look at both his writing process and the business of writing.

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Arrangement of the Collection

The collection is organized into 2 series:
Series 1: Student work and correspondence, 1977-2011
Series 2: Literary works, 1980s-2010

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Restrictions

Access to Collection:

Collection is open for research use.

Publication Rights:

Permission to publish materials must be obtained from the Director of the DeGolyer Library.

Copyright Statement:

It is the responsibility of the user to obtain copyright authorization.

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Access Terms

This collection is indexed under the following terms in the Southern Methodist University Libraries' online catalog. Researchers desiring related materials may search the catalog using these terms.
Coomer, Joe.
Authors, American -- Texas.
College students' writings, American -- Texas -- Dallas.
Books -- Reviews.
Letters -- 20th century.
Manuscripts for publication.
Scrapbooks – 20th century.

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Related Material

C.W. Smith papers, A2011.0022

Marshall Terry papers, A2007.0001

Espejo

Southern Methodist University Literary Festival records, 1975-1982, SMU1991.0098

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Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Joe Coomer papers, DeGolyer Library, Southern Methodist University.

Acquisition Information

Gift, Joe Coomer, 2012.

Processing Information

Publications written by Joe Coomer were cataloged and shelved in DeGolyer Library. Coomer organized his archive by each book project, and this order was maintained. The archivist further arranged each project chronologically. Some of his works had title changes through the writing process, so the final published title is provided in brackets.

Processed by

Cynthia Franco, 2013.

Finding aid written and encoded by

Cynthia Franco, 2013.

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Detailed Description of the Collection

 

Series 1:
Student work and correspondence, 1977-2011
3 boxes

This series contains Joe Coomer’s college papers, selected publications, subject files, selected correspondence, a scrapbook, and newspaper clippings.
Box Folder
1 1 Notebook of short stories
2 Freshman essays
3 Papers
4 SMU tests
5 Espejo, 1980-1981
6 Daily Campus, November 6, 1981
7 SMU transcript
8 Adelstein, Michael E. and Jean G. Pival. The Writing Commitment. Second edition. New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1980.
9 Taos fiction workshop, 1984
10 Dobie Paisano Fellowship application, 1985-1986
11 Texas Homes magazine, 1987 [Article written by Joe Coomer]
12 Texas Institute of Letters, 1987
13 Endorsement for Old Liberty by Marshall Terry, 1991
14 Thank you card from English class at Arts Magnet High School, with caricature, [1993]
15 Employee memo, January 30, 1994
16 1997 calendar
17 Materials on Scotland, with audiocassette
18 Portsmouth Athenaeum
19 SMU Magazine [article] for Marsh [Terry], 2006
20 McGraw Hill correspondence, 1987
21 Charles [C.W.] Smith correspondence
22 Marshall Terry correspondence
Box
15X SMU Literary Festival scrapbook, 1981
SMU Literary Festival materials, 1985
Box
16X Newspaper articles about Joe Coomer
Newspaper articles about Phillip Coomer [Joe Coomer’s brother]
Kentucky Love poster
The Babe film poster
Two book signing posters for The Loop
A Bird of the Air film poster
Newspaper clippings

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Series 2:
Literary works, 1980s-2010
14 boxes

The bulk of this series contains drafts and notes. Coomer organized his archive by each book project, and this order was maintained and further arranged chronologically. Some of his works had title changes through the writing process, so the final published title is provided in brackets. Coomer’s book reviews and short stories, and notes are at the end of this series.
Box Folder
2 1 The Decatur Road – 3 IBM Displaywriter diskettes
2 The Decatur Road – [short story]
3 The Decatur Road – [written in longhand]
4 The Decatur Road – leftovers
5-7 The Decatur Road
8 The Decatur Road– typesetter’s copy
9 The Decatur Road
10 The Decatur Road– business files
11 The Decatur Road – correspondence
12 Letter from Gloria Safier, 1982 [removed from frame]
13 The Decatur Road – fan mail
Box Folder
3X The Decatur Road – scrapbook
The Decatur Road – newspaper clippings and reviews
Box Folder
4 1 Mountains of Spices [Kentucky Love] – [written in longhand]
2-4 Mountains of Spices [Kentucky Love]
5-6 Mountains of Spices [Kentucky Love] – Xerox copies
7 Mountains of Spices [Kentucky Love]
8 Kentucky Love
9 Kentucky Love – typesetter’s copy
10 Kentucky Love– business files
11 Kentucky Love – fan mail
Box Folder
15X Kentucky Love newspaper clippings and reviews
Box Folder
5 1 [Horgan Waiting] - notes
2 Horgan Waiting [A Flatland Fable] – first draft
3 Horgan Waiting [A Flatland Fable] – second draft
4-5 Horgan Waiting [A Flatland Fable]
6 [A Flatland Fable]
7 A Flatland Fable- [written in longhand]
8-9 A Flatland Fable
Box Folder
6 1 A Flatland Fable - Creative Artists Agency correspondence
2 A Flatland Fable – business files
3-4 Texas Monthly
5 Spitball Magazine and award nomination
6 A Flatland Fable– fan mail
7 A Flatland Fable - reviews
8 A Flatland Fable– newspaper clippings
Box Folder
15X A Flatland Fable newspaper clippings and reviews
Box Folder
6 9 Dream House - [written in longhand]
10-13 From a Distant Land Dream House
14 Dream House – publisher’s edits and letter
Box Folder
7 1-2 Dream House
3 Dream House – pages removed
4 Dream House – notes
5 Dream House – 5 Polaroid 2S/2D disks
6 Dream House – business files
7 Dream House – fan mail
Box Folder
15X Dream House newspaper clippings and reviews
Box Folder
7 8 The Loop - notes
9 The Loop – notebook
10-13 The Loop
14 The Loop – incomplete drafts
15 The Loop – essay
16 The Loop – business files
17 The Loop – fan mail
Box Folder
15X The Loop newspaper clippings and reviews
Box Folder
8 1 [Sailing in a Spoonful of Water] - [written in longhand]
2 A Spoonful of Water, a Plumb Bow
3-6 Sailing in a Spoonful of Water - notebooks
7 Sailing in a Spoonful of Water – [photocopies of longhand version]
8-11 Sailing in a Spoonful of Water
12 Sailing in a Spoonful of Water – Second printing version
13 Sailing in a Spoonful of Water – [proof]
14 Sailing in a Spoonful of Water – two floppy disks and one photograph
Box Folder
9 1 [Sailing in a Spoonful of Water] – business files
2 St. Martin’s Press correspondence
3 John Alden Naval Architects correspondence
4 Lara Flynn correspondence
5 Sailing in a Spoonful of Water – fan mail
6 Sailing in a Spoonful of Water – newspaper clippings
Box Folder
15X Sailing in a Spoonful of Water newspaper clippings and reviews
Box Folder
9 7 [Beachcombing for a Shipwrecked God] – notes
8-9 Beachcombing for a Shipwrecked God - [written in longhand]
10 Beachcombing for a Shipwrecked God – [photocopies of longhand version]
11 Beachcombing for a Shipwrecked God – first print out
12 Beachcombing for a Shipwrecked God – second printer copy
13 Beachcombing for a Shipwrecked God – third printer copy
14 Point of Graves [Beachcombing for a Shipwrecked God]
15 Women at Sea [Beachcombing for a Shipwrecked God]
Box Folder
10 1 Beachcombing for a Shipwrecked God
2 Point of Graves [Beachcombing for a Shipwrecked God] – 4 floppy disks
3 [Beachcombing for a Shipwrecked God] – notes
4 Beachcombing for a Shipwrecked God – business files
5 [Beachcombing for a Shipwrecked God] – fan mail
6-7 Beachcombing for a Shipwrecked God - newspaper clippings and reviews
8 Apologizing to Dogs – notebook
9 Apologizing to Dogs - [written in longhand]
10 Apologizing to Dogs - [photocopies of longhand version]
11 Apologizing to Dogs – first print out
12-13 Apologizing to Dogs
Box Folder
11 1 Apologizing to Dogs, May 1999
2 Apologizing to Dogs
3 Apologizing to Dogs – essay
4 Apologizing to Dogs – business files
5 Apologizing to Dogs - newspaper clippings and reviews
6 One Vacant Chair - [written in longhand]
7 Still Life [One Vacant Chair] – [photocopies of longhand version]
8 Still Life [One Vacant Chair]
9 One Vacant Chair – notes
10 Blue Nude [ One Vacant Chair] – business files
11 One Vacant Chair – business files
12 One Vacant Chair - newspaper clippings and reviews
Box Folder
15X One Vacant Chair - newspaper clippings and reviews
Box Folder
12 1 [Pocketful of Names] – notebook
2 Pocketful of Names - [written in longhand]
3 Pocketful of Names – incomplete draft
4-5 Pocketful of Names
6 Pocketful of Names – business files
7 Pocketful of Names – booksigning event photographs
8 International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award, 2007
9 SMU Literary Festival, 2007
Box Folder
15X [Pocketful of Names] newspaper clippings and reviews
Box Folder
12 10 Unpublished manuscript, 2005
Box Folder
13X Schedule of Risks manuscript in longhand, 2004
Box Folder
12 11 Schedule of Risks notebook, 2006
12 Schedule of Risks
Box Folder
14 1 Schedule of Risks – second printed version
2 Rockland Breakwater, 2010
Book Reviews
3 Book reviews – first drafts
4 Books reviews
5 Copies of book reviews
Short Stories
6 Story critiques
7 First drafts
8 Copies [short stories]
9 Copies completed
10 Incomplete stories
11 “Author’s Lament” poem in Texas Observer, 2009
12 Southwest essay in Dallas Times Herald, 1985
13 “Christmas Story”
14 “The Colorblind Lobsterman” [unpublished children’s story]
15 “Coupons” in Dallas Life Magazine, 1993
16-17 “The Dog Days of Early September”
18 “Joe’s Story” in Ft.Worth Star-Telegram, 1997
19-20 Notes
21 1989 journal notes
22 Notebook
23 Drafts and notes

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