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Marc Harshman, Poet Laureate of West Virginia, Papers

Collection Number: A&M 4379

Scope and Contents

Professional and personal papers of Marc Harshman, Appalachian author and poet laureate of West Virginia.

Collection largely contains papers regarding Marc Harshman's professional career as an author, storyteller, and teacher. There are some family papers as well. Formats include journals, manuscripts, letters, programs, and others. Papers related to his activities as a poet include drafts, correspondence with publishers, galleys, and other material.

Addendum of 2021 includes correspondence, public relations and promotional materials, and papers related to Marc Harshman's children's books and his appearances related to this aspect of his work. (ca. 1970-2021)

Addendum of 2022 includes awards, manuscripts, correspondence, and miscellaneous printed materials. (ca. 1976-2022)

Addendum of 2023/07/12 includes posters, drafts of published and unpublished work, publications by Harshman and others, and correspondence. (ca. 1976-2023)


  • Creation: ca. 1970-2023


Conditions Governing Access

No special access restriction applies.

Researchers may access born digital materials by requesting to view the materials in person by appointment or remotely by contacting the West Virginia and Regional History Center reference department at

Audiovisual recordings must be digitized for research access. Researchers must contact the West Virginia and Regional History Center reference department at

Conditions Governing Use

The donor of this collection has transferred rights to some of the intellectual property they created to the Center. Marc Harshman retains coppyright to his published works. For more information regarding permission to publish or reproduce, please contact the West Virginia and Regional History Center.

Biographical / Historical

Marc Harshman was born and raised in Randolph County, Indiana. He first moved to West Virginia to attend Bethany College in 1969 and from there onto Connecticut and Pennsylvania for graduate degrees from Yale Divinity School and the University of Pittsburgh. He returned to West Virginia in 1979 where he taught at various elementary schools. He began publishing poetry in 1975 and published his first children’s book in 1989. He was appointed the seventh Poet Laureate of West Virginia in 2012. He and his wife, artist Cheryl Ryan, reside in Wheeling, WV.

Marc has published 14 children's books, the first of which was published in 1989, as well as several poetry collections and chapbooks. He has been the recipient of many awards for his work, including the 20th Annual Blue Lynx Prize for his most recent poetry collection, Woman in Red Anorak. His work Believe What You Can, published in 2016 by West Virginia University Press, won the 2017 Weatherford Award from the Appalachian Studies Association and was named the Appalachian Book of the Year by the Mountain Heritage Literary Festival in Tennessee. He was also recently named co-winner of the 2019 Allen Ginsberg Poetry Award. More information about his publications, awards, and current activities can be found on his website,


20.59 Linear Feet (20 ft. 7 in. (14 record cartons, 15 in. each); (4 document cases, 5 in. each); (2 document cases, 2 1/2 in. each); (1 flat box, 3 in.); (4 flat boxes, 1 in. each); (1 rolled storage box, 5 in.); (1 oversize folder, 0.1 in.))

6.19 Gigabytes (18 files, formats include .iso, .tif, .docx, .cue, and .md5)



Physical Location

West Virginia and Regional History Center / West Virginia University / 1549 University Avenue / P.O. Box 6069 / Morgantown, WV 26506-6069 / Phone: 304-293-3536 / Fax: 304-293-3981 / URL:

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Donated by Harshman, Marc, 2018, 2021-2023

Marc Harshman, Poet Laureate of West Virginia, Papers
Staff of the West Virginia and Regional History Center
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the West Virginia and Regional History Center Repository

1549 University Ave.
P.O. Box 6069
Morgantown WV 26506-6069 US