Turn Again to Me and Other Poems


Helen Adam was a Scottish-American poet, born in 1909 in Glasgow. She, her sister and mother moved to the United States in 1939; what started out as a family trip then became a permanent establishment as World War II broke out. They first lived in New York and eventually settled in California in 1949. After arriving in California, she began to take workshops with Robert Duncan in the 1950s, which allowed her poetry to mature and be introduced to an audience for the first time.

Following this, she became a part of the San Francisco Renaissance, a poetry movement during the ‘50s and ‘60s, and came to be well known for her unique oral performance style. With the success of her play, San Francisco’s Burning, published in 1967, she and her sister moved back to New York. There, Helen became an influence for the Beat poets due to her lyrical and oral stylings. She lived in New York for the rest of life, dying in 1993 at the age of 83. 

Her poetic style was defined by her ballads and mystical and romantic lyricism. Her book, Turn Again to Me and Other Poems, was published in 1977. The cover art she created was also influenced by these mystical themes. Turn Again to Me and Other Poems won the American Book Award in 1981. 

Kent State University Libraries holds some of Adam’s personal papers along with examples of her printed works.

--Guest Curator, Naidi Valverde-Romero, 2021-2022 OhioLINK Luminaries Student


Author/Photographer Adam, Helen, 1909-1993
Illustrator Adam, Helen, 1909-1993
Publisher New York: Kultur Foundation
Date 1977
Institution Kent State University
Repository Special Collections and Archives
LC Classification Number PS3551.D3 T8
Map case PS3551.D3 T79
Portion Digitized Front cover; Broadside of the title poem
Access Rights This digital object is owned by Kent State University and may be protected by U.S. Copyright law (Title 17, USC). Please include proper citation and credit for use of this item. Use in publications or productions is prohibited without written permission from Kent State University. Please contact the Department of Special Collections and Archives for more information.
Duplication Policy http://www.library.kent.edu/special-collections-and-archives/duplication-policy
Date Copyrighted 1977
DPLA Rights Statement http://rightsstatements.org/vocab/InC/1.0/
Format of Original book


Curated by Kathleen Siebert Medicus with guest contributors