RPW to James Farmer letter 5/4/1964
Warren introduces himself, lists other interview he's conducted for Who Speaks, and requests a meeting
RPW to James Farmer letter 5/4/1964 searchable textCollapse
2495 Redding Road, Fairfield, Connecticut, May 4, 1964
Mr. James Farmer,
38 Park Row,
New York City
Dear Mr. Farmer:
I had the pleasure of meeting and talking briefly with you last fall in Washington at the Conference on Nonviolence at Howard University. But I scarcely expect you to remember that, and so shall re-introduce myself. I am a professor at Yale University and a writer, primarily a novelist, I suppose. (Among my books are All the Kings Men, Band of Angels, and The Cave, of which you may have heard.) Now I am doing a set of interviews with Negro leaders in various parts of the country, a short version to appear in Look Magazine and a full version to be published as a book by Random House, Inc., my regular publishers. I have already interviewed Mr. Wyatt Walker, Dr. Martin Luther King, Mr. Abernathy (though informally), Mr. Aaron Henry, Mr. Charles Evers, Mr. Lolis Elie ( if [of] New Orleans), Judge Hastie, Mr. Whitney Young, Congressman Powell, Dr. Kenneth Clark, James Baldwin, Ralph Ellison – and a number of other people. I am, of course, anxious to include you. Can you be persuaded?
What I am trying to do is somewhat different from the ordinary newspaper interview. What I hope to get is a sort of portrait of the person interviewed, a sense of his personality and the workings of his mind. We touch on a number of topics, some of them having only a remote connect, if any, with Civil Rights, but the course of the interview is determined by the range of interests of the person interviewed.
Would you have time, in the midst of your heavy obligations, to see me? I could come at almost any time, if I have a little warning – though I still have a few appointments out of town, for instance Mr. Carl Rowan on May 14, which is therefore out. I am trying to wind up in the next three weeks, since the magazine is pressing me.
I should be grateful for a word.
Very sincerely yours,
Robert Penn Warren
PS. Forgive this messy note, but I’m no typist.Collapse