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Patricia W. & J. Douglas Perry Library
Norfolk, Virginia 23529-0256
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The Papers of Elizabeth Ann Burton Collection


Elizabeth Ann Burton (1968-1990) was a poet born in Richmond, VA, who lived in Painter, on the Eastern Shore of Virginia. A member of the Poet Society of Virginia, she held a B. A. in English literature from Old Dominion University. In 1990, Burton's book of poetry, Waiting for the Messiah, was published. Additionally, she had poems published in a volume of The Poet's Domain, a book of poetry featuring work by regional authors of the Mid-Atlantic states. She was working on a creative writing degree at Old Dominion University and a second book of poetry when she died.


Burton, Elizabeth A. Waiting for the Messiah. Chicago: Adams Press, 1990.

Scope and Contents

The collection includes typed and handwritten drafts of poetry written by Elizabeth Ann Burton, mostly from the late 1980s. Included are the original manuscripts for Burton's published book of poetry Waiting for the Messiah, as well as the draft of a second book, which was never published. Letters from Elizabeth Burton to Mildred Guilds Peele, donator of the collection, are in the collection. Also included are letters written after Burton's death by Mildred Peele to L. S. Loomer, a potential publisher of Elizabeth Burton's poetry, as well as correspondence between Burton's mother and Peele.


The collection is arranged chronologically in folders.


Burton's manuscripts were collected and donated in 2000 by Mildred Guilds Peele, former lecturer in the English department at Old Dominion University, and wife of E. Vernon Peele, professor of English at ODU and past dean of the School of Arts and Sciences.


Open to researchers without restrictions. Questions on literary property rights should be directed to the Special Collections Librarian.


1 Document Case

Collection Number

RG 17-3B4

Container Listing

Folder 1, Poetry of Elizabeth A. Burton, 1984-1988

"The Falcon Came"
"Instructions for the Messiah"
"The Poor Poet"
"Visiting Italy"
"No Title"
"Root, Stem, Leaf"
"Love Poem in Twos and Threes"
"Torn and Tattered Elegy in Black"
"Stoned Cold"
"Remembrance of my Trip to Europe Italy"
"Human Being"
"Buddha Inside the Light"
"An Anginal Equivalent"
"Solitude Late At Night In the Woods"
"Remembering A March Against The Vietnam War"
"But I Do Not Need Kindness"
"The Ghetto Girls at Eastern State"
"The Hospital"
"Christmas Poem"
"August 24, 1987"
"Nocturne for the U. S. Congress"
"Hunger for Me"
"Reading the Names of the Vietnam Dead"
"The Kiss"
"The Black Woman"
"The Phoenix Has Come"
"To a woman in a pink bathing suit"
"A Solitary Woman"
"Exaggerated Self-Portrait"
"To my Sister"
"Mothers, Daughter"
"To a Friend's Child"
"A Dream"
Letter to Mildred Peele, November 16, 1987 attached to:
Title Page Iron Heaven and Other Poems
"Iron Heaven"
"To My Sister"
"A Dream"
"Summer Garden"
"Song for South Africa"
"The Black Woman"
"V. D. Clinic"
"Newly Born"
"Harlem on the Poor Side of Town"
"The Flying Change"
"Your Child"
"A Walk"
"A Ghost May Come"
"There are Poems"
"To a Friend's Child"
"A Solitary Woman"
"As Benefits A Woman"
"End of the World"
"Our Hands in the Garden"
"I am going to Sleep (suicide poem)"
"The Ghetto Girls at Eastern State"
"The Painter in the Lion Cage"
"Song of the Old Woman"
"Talking Fish"
"So Long"
"The Three Fates"
"Mothers, Daughter"
"July 29, 1987"
"Troubled Woman"
Notebook of Poetry to Bedlam and Part Way Back
"Words to Dr. S."
"Another Morning"
"The Hospital Windows at Dunbar"
"I am going to Sleep (suicide poem)"
"Suicidal Note"
"Mr. Death"
"This is not a Dream"
"Poem #3 on Shock Treatment"
"Shock #9"
"Psychotics at Eastern State"
"Poem #112"
"Sonnet to Satan"
"A Villanele"
"Leftovers from a Mental Institution"
"Let every Woman"
"Coming out of the depression"
"La analista"
"Unas palabras ala dra. A."
"A Bedlam y de reqreso en porte"

Folder 2, Correspondence from Elizabeth A. Burton to Mildred Peele, 1987-1990

Letter, November 30, 1987
Letter, September, 1988
Letter, September 28, 1989
Letter, July 20, 1989
Letter, March 9, 1990
Letter, March 17, 1990
Letter, April 9, 1990
Letter and envelope, April 16, 1990
Letter and envelope, July 26, 1990
Letter and envelope, August 24, 1990
Letter and envelope, August 27, 1990
Letter, October 2, 1990

Folder 3, Newspaper Clippings, 1991

August 15, 1991, Car Found In Pond
August 15, 1991, Body and Car Identified As Elizabeth A. Burton
August 17, 1991, article on Elizabeth A. Burton
August 17, 1991, obituary of Elizabeth A. Burton

Folder 4, Correspondence from L. S. Loomer to Mildred Peele, 1997

Letter, March 4, 1997
Letter, March 21, 1997
Letter, n.d.
Letter, April 29, 1997
Funeral program for Alice May Loomer, L. S. Loomer's aunt
Letter, May 1, 1997
Photocopy of May 1, 1997 letter
Envelope for May 1, 1997 letter
Letter from L. S. Loomer, May 3, 1997
Letter and envelope, May 9, 1997

Folder 5, Correspondence from Mary Ann Burton to Mildred Peele, 1997

Letter and envelope from Mary Ann Burton, May 7, 1997
Handwritten list of Elizabeth Burton's books
Typed list of Elizabeth Burton's books

Folder 6, Publication notes by Mildred Peele, no date

Handwritten notes about publishing Elizabeth A. Burton's poetry

Revised 4/1/08