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Will Inman Correspondence

Identifier: SC-MS-113

Scope and Contents

This collection contains correspondence from Wilmington native and poet Will Inman to Neal Thomas, as well as some of Inman's works and letters to additional recipients. Inman's correspondence was usually typed, landscape view, with the letter on one half and a poem on the other. He also often included additional poems with his letters.


  • Creation: 1983-1993, undated


Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research use.

Copyright Statement

Copyright retained by the authors of items in these papers, or their descendants, as stipulated by United States copyright law.

Biographical Note

Will Inman was born as William Archibald McGirt in Wilmington, North Carolina on May 3, 1923. He grew up in a working-class family and attended New Hanover County public schools throughout his education as a child. In 1943, Inman graduated from Duke University with a B.A. in English and later worked in a shipyard and fish market in Winston Salem. Inman joined the Communist Party in 1947. He was called to appear before the House Committee of Unamerican Activities in 1956. Inman would withdraw from the party shortly after.

In 1953, he changed his name to Inman (his mother's maiden name) to embody the "Will In Man" in his poetry. He would leaglly change his name in 1973. Inman moved to New York City to become fully involved with his writing. Inman was influenced by the works of Henry David Thoreau, Ralph Waldo Emerson, and Walt Whitman. During his time in New York City, Inman participated in poetry readings and clubs, which led him to teach a seminar at the Free University of New York. Starting in 1967, Inman taught poetry courses at the American University in Washington D.C. and Montgomery College in Maryland. He used his techniques from his Free University of New York seminars in these courses.

Inman had a son, William Stanley, with Violet Stanely. His son lived in Albany, New York with his mother and would visit Inman in the city. In 1969, Inman married Barbara Ann Sherman. Her poor health would move the couple to Tuscon, Arizona in 1973. Inman and Sherman got divorced in 1975, and he would remain in Arizona for the rest of his life and continue to publish his poetry there. Inman also participated in hosting poetry workshops in prisons and other charity work. On October 3, 2009, Inman passed away from Parkinson's Disease. He is best remembered for his poetry and activism.


1 Folder (Contains 1 folder.)

Language of Materials


Acquisition Information

This collection was donated by Neal Thomas. Date of acquisition unknown.

Related Materials

Additional material and information on Will Inman can be found in MS 136 Collected Works of Will Inman.

Will Inman Correspondence
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Repository Details

Part of the Randall Library Special Collections Repository