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Kate Rennie Archer, 'Night Clerk'

newspaper article
A Wartime Poem Tells The Story Of Night Workers
“These are they who work all the nights through, who capture the joy of new mothers, who fasten down love words with tape ...” These lines are from the long poem, “Night Clerk,” written during World War II by Kate Rennie Archer, poet and now a teacher of creative writing at Dominican College in San Rafael. Now, nearly two decades after “Night Clerk” was written. it has been published in pamphlet form through arrangements made by Mrs. Archer with the Andrews Printing Co. of San Rafael. It is, she hopes, the start of a series of such pamphlets preserving poetry too long for magazine use and which might otherwise be lost. The booklets will be published under the title of Glenwood Editions. If many years have passed since Mrs. Archer wrote “Night Clerk,” the unusual circumstances under which it was “penned’’ remain indelibly stamped in her mind. IT CAME, she remembers, at a time when she was performing emergency war work on the night shift with Western Union in Chicago. “There was a breakdown,” she recalls, “and so for a time nothing was coming through or going out. So I used those rare off-work minutes to begin the poem.” It must, she believes, therefore be one of the few poems written not in pen and ink, by pencil or on a typewriter, but on a Western Union keyboard. Later, during a 1 a.m. coffee break at an across-the-street cafeteria, she completed the poem. The “coffee break people” at the cafeteria were the first to hear it read. Mrs. Archer says the poem has had “previous notice and comment in business publications, but this printing keeps the record.” She regards her poem as vital, pictorial and belonging to the war era - an era “we hope is not going to be repeated.” She also describes the poem as “a vignette of the graphic telegrams that came over the wires, the efficiency of the workers, engineers, clerks and officials who played such….
    KATE RENNIE ARCHER, poetess and teacher at Dominican College in San Rafael, reads one of her published books of poetry. A poem written by her during wartime under most unusual circumstances, “Night Clerk," has just been published locally in pamphlet form. MRS. ARCHER has agreed to serve as editor for the Andrews company of poetry to be conserved in future Glenwood editions. Her own work has previously been published in seven books of poems and in magazines in several countries. Mrs. Archer has taught at Dominican College and the other Dominican schools for 16 years. She has appeared on radio, discussing folklore and folk poetry. In March of Events, Benjamin de Casseres wrote: “Mrs. Archer knows whereof she speaks. Sincerity and power distinguish her poems.”
The cited information was sourced from Electronic Document (email, file) published by in California on April 14th, 1962 (Ref: p. 28) The author/originator was Daily Independent Journal, San Rafael. This citation is considered to be direct and primary evidence used, or by dominance of the evidence.

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