PAPERS, DATES:»1930?-1997

»(bulk 1971-1992)

QUANTITY:»5.9 linear feet






The »papers (donor no. 214) were donated by »Richard E. Filipowski in 1994 and succeeding years.


The »papers are open for research.


»Copyright has been transferred to the University of Iowa.


»In box 15.


Your name, year»George Mullally, 1995, 1997 and 1998. [FilipowskaPatricia.doc]


            Begin text here:»Patricia (Parker) Filipowska was born September 6, 1924 in Burlington, Iowa, the only child of Helen and Guerdon ("Spike") Parker.  After graduating in 1942 from Burlington High School with honors in art and poetry, Parker studied art at the Art Institute of Chicago and writing and poetry at the University of Chicago.  She subsequently enrolled at the Institute of Design in Chicago where she studied visual design and architecture.  Many of her drawings and graphics are in the archives of the Chicago Historical Society.


While at the Institute of Design, Parker met fellow student Richard ("Filip") Filipowski whom she married in 1946.  In 1950 Richard Filipowski was invited by Walter Gropius to organize and teach the course "Designing Fundamentals" in the Graduate School of Design at Harvard University.  They moved to Cambridge, and subsequently to Lexington, Massachusetts, where they raised their three sons, Stefan, Matthew, and David.


By the mid-1970s, Filipowska had turned her attention more fully to poetry and in 1981 she enrolled in the Poetry Seminars conducted by Kinereth Gensler at Radcliffe College.  For her pen name she chose neither her maiden name nor her husband's name but the Slavic feminine form of her husband's name, Filipowska.  Almost all of the poetry that she wrote over the next twelve years was the result of her involvement in these seminars.  By 1993 she had written over one hundred and eighty poems and her working drafts reveal the immense effort she put into their revision.  At her death she left behind a manuscript of one hundred poems entitled, Original Draft Of Anthology Of Poems, culled from her collection.  The poems themselves were fully realized; some had already been published.  But she had not yet made the choice of how best to put them together to make unified wholes.  Her husband engaged Kinereth Gensler, her seminar professor, to do the required arranging and editing.  The result was an anthology of sixty-two poems selected from her original manuscript and published posthumously in 1993 under the title The Well.  The work is in four sections.  Two of them deal with her relationship to Iowa, while the others concern the disparate aspects of her life as a woman and her personal losses.  According to Gensler, her professor, editor, and friend, "A primary force underlying Patricia Filipowska's poems is her enduring relationship with Iowa.  She was deeply committed to poetry and to her work as a poet.  She observed the world with cool curiosity and a passionate heart."  Patricia Filipowska died of cancer on March 15, 1993.


Scope and Content Note


            Begin text here:The» Patricia Filipowska papers date from »1930? to 1995 and measure »5.9 linear feet.  The »papers »are arranged in »seven series:  »Biographical materials, Calendars, Correspondence, Writings, Sketches and graphics, Family papers, and Photographs.


            The first series, Biographical materials (1946-1994), is arranged alphabetically in five subseries.  The first, Biography, includes clippings of book reviews from two Burlington, Iowa, newspapers and letters solicited by Filip Filipowski from Cay Burk, Ruth Feldman, and Beatrice Takeuchi giving their reminiscences of Patricia Filipowska.  The second subseries, Letters to Myself, is a posthumously discovered private diary, dated October 28, 1974 to March 27, 1978, containing Filipowska’s thoughts about her personal life, her relationship with her husband, Richard, and their ongoing problems with their son, David.  It also reveals the intimacy she continued to feel for her artist friend in Burlington, Iowa, Robert Burrus.  The third subseries, Poetry workshop materials, contains lists of poems submitted for review in various Radcliffe Poetry Seminars; class lists; course assignments and notes; and communications with fellow students.  The fourth subseries, Travel, contains Filipowska's passports and miscellaneous travel receipts, gift lists, packing lists, and tourist brochures.  The fifth subseries is an apparent separate diary in a commercially produced notebook entitled, A Woman’s Notebook.  It contains only two entries, dated January 12, 1980 and July 4, 1981, respectively.


            The second series, Calendars (1980-1992), consists of thirteen appointment calendars that are as much diaristic in nature as they are records of activities and appointments.


            The third series, Correspondence (1945-1994), includes letters to the editor, letters of rejection, and extensive letters from the Filipowski's son and daughter-in-law, Matthew and Yvonne Filipowski of Amsterdam and from Filipowska's parents, Helen and Guerdon Parker of Burlington, Iowa, as well as from many other friends and associates.


            The fourth series, Writings (1940-1993), is comprised of six subseries.  The first, Early writings, contains essays and poetry from Filipowska's student days at Burlington (Iowa) High School and the University of Chicago. The second subseries, Radcliffe Poetry Seminars, forms the heart of this entire collection.  These 182 poems, each in its own folder, constitute Filipowska's working file.  They are arranged by the author into thematic units such as Childhood, Iowa, Family, and Illness.  Most are represented by multiple versions showing the author's efforts continually to revise and improve her art.  It is this feature, above all, which will recommend this collection to the student of poetic composition.  The third subseries contains three notebooks of poems assembled in various combinations by the author at different times.  The first notebook, described internally by the author as "very old", is a group of sixty-four poems in simple numerical arrangement, most having extensive revisions.  A second "red" notebook containing about one hundred and fifty poems, appears to be the author's first attempt at arranging her completed poems into thematic units, each again having extensive interlinear revisions.  The third or "black" notebook is labelled Original Draft of Anthology of Poems, containing 100 poems as selected and arranged by Filipowska in anticipation of their eventual publication.  The fourth subseries consists of poems submitted for the Grolier Poetry Prize from 1978 to 1987.  The fifth subseries consists of the published anthology of poems entitled The Well, containing 62 poems as posthumously published in 1993.  The sixth and last subseries is a collection of Miscellaneous gift verses and limericks.


            The fifth series, Sketches and graphics (1944-1962) contain drawings done by Filipowska between 1952 and 1962 while living at the couple’s first home in Lexington, Massachusetts. There are also two sketchbooks, the first dated 1944 to 1946, containing samples of her work from her student days at the School of Design in Chicago and the second, dated 1958 to 1959, containing self-portraits and other drawings.


            The sixth series, Family papers (1991-1995), consists of Filip Filipowski's designs called "Pub drawings" and the memoirs of his own childhood in Canada entitled Terra Cotta Episodes 1927-1932.


            The last series, Photographs (1930?-1994), contains 55 photographs, chiefly of Filipowska, beginning at about age six in 1930, but also including photographs of her husband Filip, their three sons, Filipowska's parents, and close friends and associates.  Also included are photographs of Robert Burrus, Filipowska’s artist friend of Burlington, Iowa, together with photographs of his art reliefs.


            The Well (Lexington, MA: R.E. Filipowski, c1993) is shelved with printed works, in the Iowa Authors Collection in the Special Collections Department, and in the general collection in the Main Library.


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Box 1

»Biographical materials

Biography, 1946-1994, scattered

Letters to Myself (private diary)

Oct. 28, 1974-Apr.29, 1975 [duplicate shelved in SCVF for photocopy use]

May 1, 1975-Aug. 7, 1975

Aug. 17, 1975-Apr 2. 1976

Apr. 12, 1976-Aug. 9, 1976

Aug. 26, 1976-Dec. 29, 1976

Dec. 29, 1976-Aug. 15, 1977

Poetry workshops, 1976-1989

Travel, 1946-1985, scattered

A Woman’s Notebook, Jan. 12, 1980 and July 4, 1981


Box 2












Box 3







Letters to the editor, 1973-1985, scattered

Letters of rejection, 1977-1992

Family, 1946-1997

Filipowski, David, 1975-1986, scattered

Filipowski, Matthew and Yvonne, 1971-1992



Box 4



Filipowski, Pat

To Richard Filipowski, 1945-1988, scattered

To Helen and Guerdon Parker, 1982-1986

To Beatrice Takeuchi, 1978-1987

Filipowski, Richard (“Filip”)

From Georgeanne Conant, Jan.-Apr. 1997

To Pat Filipowski, 1948-1991, scattered

Filipowski, Stefan, 1961-1988, scattered

Grupe, Ida ("Nana"), 1946

Grupe, Lois, 1973?-1991

Parker, Helen and Guerdon ("Spike")





Box 5

1977-1992, scattered

General, 1971-1994


Burrus, Alice and Robert



Foster, Shirley, 1982-1992


Gilberg, Doris






Box 6

Nunlist, Juli, 1982-1990



Takeuchi, Beatrice, 1978-1990

Tyler, Mary M., 1980-1989





Early writings


Burlington (Iowa) High School, 1940-1942

University of Chicago, 1943

Poetry, 1940-1947


Box 7

Radcliffe Poetry Seminars, 1981-1993



A. Childhood

A-1. Snapshots of an Only Child

A-2. Poppy

A-3. Returning Mrs. Griffel's Casserole

A-4. The Birthday Party

A-5. Hearing the Grandfather Clock

A-6. In This Heat I Think of Celestine

A-7. What to Say

A-8. Missing Show and Tell

A-9. If the Word Is String

A-10. What Gertrude Meant

A-11. The Strangers

A-12. The Serious Summer

A-13. Let Go

A-14. Looking at a Fortune Cookie

A-15. Schooling

A-16. Finding the Place

B. Iowa

B-1. Myth

B-2. At the Airport

B-3. The Day Lilies of Golf Club Lane

B-4. Warning Signs

B-5. From the Levee

B-6. Japanese Silk Seen From the Air


Box 8

B-7. Taking Leave

B-8. The Well

B-9. Flying Back Home to Iowa

C. Family

C-1. One Afternoon

C-2. Sons

C-3. Squirrels

C-4. A Long Romance

C-5. Seeing You Long Distance

C-6. Great-Aunt Beebee

C-7. The Candle

C-8. The Rhinoceros

C-9. On Her Ninetieth Birthday

C-10. For Milo, Three, and Ilya, Six

C-11. Filing Her Nails

C-12. La Gioconda

C-13. In This Place

D. Portraits

D-1. Telephone Call on a Snowy Night

D-2. The Unmarried Son to an Old Friend

D-3. The Caller

D-4. Talking Out Loud to an Old Lady's Son

E. Illness

E-1. Apopointment

E-2. Going Under

E-3. Shipwreck

E-4. Monday Morning Tryst

E-5. The Amazons


Box 9

E-6. The Gallery of Dr. Canzanelli

E-7. How It Happens

E-8. Two Flights Up, Down With a Fever

E-9. The Day

E-10. Identity

E-11. Attaining Perfection

F. Loss and Unease

F-1. Near the End of Autumn

F-2. Fourth of July

F-3. Answering Your Letter

F-4. July

F-5. Word of His Death

F-6. That Day in May

F-7. Learning From Memory

F-8. Unease

F-9. Degrees of Patience

F-10. Taking Things Personally

F-11. Clearings

F-12. Word From an Unconceived Daughter

F-13. Worry-Beads

F-14. Thinking Back

F-15. Day Six

F-16. What It Was Like

G. Shaped Poems and On Art

G-1. Sunset

G-2. Venetian Glass

G-3. A Poem on the Fresh Snow

G-4. Circuit Hurt

G-5. Course in Photography

G-6. The Bridge

G-7. Great Mistakes

G-8. Couple's Therapy

Box 10


H. Dreams and Illusions

H-1. The Vanishing Point

H-2. Hurt

H-3. Intermission

H-4. On Route 425 in Late March

H-5. Back Through the Door

H-6. Ladder

H-7. In Another Life

H-8. Out-Of-Body Travel

H-9. A Source of Light

H-10. The Red Dress in a Yellow Field

H-11. Dancing With the Cows

H-12. The Sign

H-13. The Lake Again


I. Creatures

I-1. Sharing My Pillow With a Cat

I-2. O Cat

I-3. Bliss

I-4. Advice to Birds

I-5. Appetites

I-6. Downfall

I-7. Bee

I-8. The Starfish

I-9. Miscued in Mid-Winter

I-10. Agelaius Phoeniceus

I-11. Crow-Poem


Box 11

I-12. Backyard Midway

I-13. Here It Is

I-14. Maia in My Lap

I-15. Poem in September

I-16. What Is Left

J. Words, Sounds, and Writing

J-1. Snow Scene Without the Letter S

J-2. Early Spring Words

J-3. According to Guinness

J-4. Small Sounds

J-5. Derivations

J-6. A Stanza

J-7. Rewriting After a Long Dry Spell

K. Landscapes and Seasons

K-1. View of Christmas

K-2. Earth

K-3. Astronauts

K-4. February Thaw

K-5. An Old Hand

K-8. Puzzle

K-9. Mountainside Bath in Vermont

K-10. The Round Trip

K-11. Paradox

K-12. On a Flexible Flyer

K-13. Vacation Poem

K-14. The Norway Maple Saplings

K-15. Complaint

L. Forms and Light Verse

L-1. To E. P.

L-2. On Dismissing an Old Love

L-3. To the Dark Glasses

L-4. On the Beach

L-5. School Girl, Ticking


Box 12

L-6. The Bizarre Bazaar

L-7. Purple Ladders

L-8. Far-Sighted

L-9. Tea Room

L-10. Closet Blues

L-12. Learning From Memory

L-13. The Day

L-14. A Footnote

L-15. A Make-Shift Spring

L-18. The Royal Response

L-20. Chelonia on a Log

L-21. Counting to Five Hundred



The Actress


Aspects of Democracy

Belated Note to Her Son

Birthday Morning

A Centipede


A Day After a Light Snowfall






Box 13


Here I Am

If You Can't Stand the Heat


The Lineman Mutters

Old Man's Song

On Sunday Morning

On Writing Poems

The Return

A School Girl Sings





Three Moon Poems

Time Machine

Tunes for the Ides of March

Under the Spell of Yard Work

The Unmarried Son in His Mother's House

Valentine’s Day

Virtual Volume

What Does Bother Me


Working It Out



"Very old" notebook

"Red" notebook


Box 14

"Black" notebook: Original Draft of Anthology of Poems (100 poems, of which 62 were selected for publication in The Well)

Spiral bound copy of Anthology of Poems

Green folder

Grolier Poetry Prize submissions, 1978-1987

Published poetry

Manuscript list of published poetry

The Well, 1993 [removed to printed works collection and cataloged separately]

Miscellaneous gift verses and limericks


Sketches and graphics

Institute of Design, Chicago, 1944-1946 [shelved in map case: drawer 5]



Self-portrait and drawings, 1958-1959 [shelved in map case: drawer 5]


Family papers

Filipowski, Richard

Pub drawings, 1991-1995

Terra Cotta Episodes 1927-1932, undated


Box 15

Photographs, 1930?-1994

Burrus, Robert

Filipowska, Patricia, and family (4 folders)