John Conley was a scholar, educator, short story writer, poet, and translator. He was a student of Yvor Winters and remained
a lifelong friend of Winters and his wife, Janet Lewis. As a student at Stanford, he met and became the lifelong friend of
J.V. Cunningham. In addition to carrying on a correspondence, Cunningham sent him many manuscripts (some 84 of them) of his
poems and verse translations that are included among the papers. Additionally, at Stanford and also at Berkeley, Conley became
acquainted with the scholar, poet, and novelist, Howard Baker (a large number of whose manuscripts are among the papers) and
the poet, Lincoln Fitzell (a fair number of whose manuscripts, most of them signed, are also among the papers). Conley published
fiction in a journal edited by Alan Swallow, two of whose letters are present.
John A. Conley was born January 2, 1912 and died November 4, 1999. Originally from Montana, he was educated at Berkeley (B.A.
English, 1934) and Stanford (Ph.D. English, 1956). He taught at Stanford, Ohio State University, John Carroll University,
Brandeis University, Queens College (New York City), University of California, Riverside, and University of Illinois at Chicago
(where he was named professor emeritus in 1977). His specialties were Old English, Middle English, and Middle Scots. He was
the author of The Middle English Pearl: Critical Essays (University of Notre Dame Press, 1970) and he co-authored The Mirror of Everyman's Salvation: A Prose Translation of the Original Everyman (Rodopi, 1985).
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