Heritage

Winter with the Writers is part of a long tradition of literary excellence at Rollins College, first in the continuing tradition of supporting living authors and also as a direct descendent of the Animated Magazine, established by Hamilton Holt, the eighth president of Rollins College.

The Animated Magazine presented an eclectic program of speakers during high winter before an audience of subscribers that often numbered in the thousands.

Over a span of forty years, statesmen, political and sports figures, actors, and notable writers read their pieces or spoke—Greer Garson, Bob Feller, James Cagney, Omar Bradley, J. Edgar Hoover, Fannie Hurst, Henry Luce, Henry Morganthal, Claude Pepper, Mary Pickford, Mohammed Ali, among others.

The series began in 1927, introducing to the Rollins College and Winter Park communities the editor of the poetry column of The New York Times, Jessie Rittenhouse.

The collection of her letters of correspondence with many important poets of the early 20th century can be found in the Olin Library archives, including her correspondence with Eliot, Pound, Hart Crane, Robert Frost, Elinor Wylie, Amy Lowell, E.A Robinson, and Allen Tate.

Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings attended the Animated Magazine in 1934, 1937, 1938, 1941 and 1945. Photo in 1938

Other featured writers in the Animated Magazine series included Ogden Nash, John Erskine, Allen Drury, and Carl Sandburg, who first lectured in the Knowles Hall on March 30, 1928, and then returned for the 1940 animated magazine  and received an honorary degree from Rollins on February 26, 1940.

Zora Neale Hurston visited Rollins College several times, though not as a part of the Animated Magazine. She gave a Master Class in 1938. Class visit, 1938

Several of her plays were staged at Rollins, including “From Sun to Sun” in 1933 and “All de Live Long Day”, in 1934.

Other writers who have been a part of the literary milieu at Rollins College include Sinclair Lewis, in 1941 and in 2007 Maya Angelou. Manuscript page and photo with past presidents.

Other elements of the literary culture that WWW derives from are material—like the collection of Walt Whitman papers in Olin Library that includes a manuscript page of “Democracy” and a hand-written note—and some are abstract, particularly the enduring belief in popular eloquence.





Our special thanks to Jonathan Miller and Wenxian Zhang at the Olin Library for help with archival materials.

Lewis with Holt


Above is the image of Sinclair Lewis visiting Rollins President Hamilton Holt's residence in Winter Park on January 30, 1941. Lewis was sitting under a lamp with cigarette in hand, and to his right also sitting in the chair with jacket and tie was Holt. Click on image to enlarge.