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Michael Dennis Browne Papers

Identifier: Mss065

Scope and Content Note

The collection consists of manuscripts and drafts for Browne's many publications, poems, and libretti, as well as correspondence teaching materials, and personal papers.


  • 1960-2002

Language of Materials


Restrictions on Access

The collection is open and available for use by researchers in the Andersen Library Reading Room.

Restrictions on Use

Copyright is retained by the coppyright holder.

Biographical note

Michael Dennis Browne was born in Walton-on Thames, England. His father was an amateur organist and choirmaster in the local Catholic Church. Browne received his B.A. with first-class honors in 1962 from Hull University, and his M.A. from the University of Iowa. He became a naturalized citizen of the United States in 1978.

Browne is the author of several collections of poetry, including The Wife of Winter(1970), Sun Excercises(1976), The Sun Fetcher(1978), and Smoke from the Fires (1985). He is the recipient of two Minnesota Book Awards for his Selected Poems 1965-1995(1997), and for You Won't Remember This(1992). Along with poetry, Browne has published several works of prose, including Give Her the River(2004), a picture book with paintings by Wendell Minor, published by Atheneum Books for Young Readers, and as well as the middle-grade novel The Turning of the Stones (2010). His edited essay collection, What the Poem Wants: Prose on Poetry, was published by Carnegie Mellon University Press in 2008, and includes essays from poets such as D.H. Lawrence, John Berryman, and James Wright.

Browne has taught poetry and writing in classroom, workshop, and residency settings. He began teaching at the University of Minnesota in 1971, and stayed with the university until his retirement in 2010. He's also taught with the Iowa Summer Writing Festival, as well at the Collegeville Institute in Minnesota. Throughout his teaching career he has received several honors for his teaching, including the University of Minnesota's Morse-Alumni Distinguished Teaching Professor of English award.

Over the course of his career, Browne has collaborated with composers many times. His libretti for composer Stephen Paulus include the opera The Three Hermits(1997), the choral arrangement The Road Home(2002), and the Pulitzer-Prize nominated oratorio To Be a Certain Dawn(2005). Browne has also frequently collaborated with the Dale Warland Singers of Minneapolis and with liturgical and classical composer John Foley, SJ.


65 Linear Feet (63 linear feet)


The collection consists of manuscripts, correspondence, and personal papers of the poet and teacher Michael Dennis Browne.


The collection is organized into the following series:

  1. Correspondence
  2. Manuscripts
  3. Music
  4. Poetry
  5. Prose
  6. Subject Files
  7. Teaching
  8. Personal Papers
  9. Oversize Posters, Broadsides, Artwork, and Journals

Physical Location

AV (R2, D7, S5-7); HB (R5, D17, S13-14; D18, S5-10) books in R2, D1, S1-2) unprocessed accruals HB (R5, D17, S11).


The collection was purchased by the University of Minnesota Libraries in 2005.

Processing Information

The collection was processed and the finding aid written by Marisa Tam. Accruals to the collection have been processed by Kathryn Hujda, with generous support from Creative Heritage Intiative donors.

Michael Dennis Browne Papers
Kathryn Hujda
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note

Collecting Area Details

Contact The Upper Midwest Literary Archives Collecting Area