As we prepare to celebrate 2018 @windhamcampbell
Prize Winners tomorrow, we celebrate also the legacy of Donald Windham and Sandy Campbell. Here: Photograph by Tennessee Williams of Donald Windham and Sandy Campbell in Italy, 1948. From: Donald Windham and Sandy Campbell papers. YCAL MSS 424 @americanlitatbeinecke
This spirit of generosity, as well as a love of literature and a profound sympathy for his fellow writers, led Windham to establish the Donald Windham-Sandy M. Campbell #Literature
Prizes at #YaleUniversity
. The mission of the prizes is to call attention to literary achievement and provide writers with the opportunity to focus on their work independent of financial concerns.
Lifelong partners, #DonaldWindham
were avid #bookcollectors
, voracious #readers
, and friends with many of the most important literary figures of their time. #Windham
wrote memoirs, novels, plays, short stories, and a children’s book. #Campbell
was a stage actor who also penned unsigned book reviews for #TheNewYorker
and contributed articles to Harper’s Magazine and other publications. The pair discussed the idea of creating an award to support writers for many years, inspired by Windham’s early monetary struggles and the important role financial independence played in his career as a writer. When Campbell passed away unexpectedly in 1988, Windham took on the responsibility for making this shared dream a reality.
Out of devotion to Campbell’s memory, Windham ignored the advice of his financial advisors and retained the Campbell family stocks he’d inherited. His resolve and modest lifestyle were rewarded, and he became wealthy enough to realize his goal of creating a literary prize. Windham had entrusted his papers to #Yale
University's Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library, and the relationship he developed with these two institutions convinced him that Yale was the ideal place to create a prize of the scale and prestige he and Campbell had envisioned.
The first prizes were announced in 2013.