Martha O. Adams papers, 1960-2016

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Adams, Martha O.
Martha Olds Adams is an American writer and poet. Her works center primarily on the areas of feminist theology, female spirituality and social justice. The Martha O. Adams papers contain her poetry collections and other writings; correspondence and ephemera related to her publications, workshops and speaking engagements, as well as documentation of her research and activist work.
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Scope and content:

The collection consists of Adams' personal writings and works, ephemera related to her publications, items associated with retreats, workshops and speaking engagements, research about influential female figures and her involvement in issues such as reproductive rights, voting rights, and feminist theology. The collection also includes personal and professional correspondence, educational materials from Adams' participation in the Hartford Seminary Leadership Institute as well as reflections on her father's struggle with Alzheimer's disease. There is also an Audio/Visual Materials series that contains interviews and documentary materials, as well as digital backups of Adams' writings, works, and correspondence.

Biographical / historical:

Martha Olds Adams is a writer and poet based in Hendersonville, NC. She was inspired when introduced to the works of Christian feminist theologians and the idea of the divine feminine. She participated in the Hartford Seminary Women's Leadership Institute in 1997 and contributed to a legacy of expression of female spirituality by organizing retreats and writing poetry.

She has written three poetry collections including: Buried Seed (2015), What Your Heart Needs to Know (2008) and Peeling the Rind (2000). She also wrote an epic poem for Readers' Theater entitled She Rises Through the Sickle Moon, that portrays the voices of over 100 "historical daughters of the divine mother." Her works center on feminist theology, diversity and global justice. She performs her poems across the country, including frequent readings hosted at the Hendersonville Public Library. Adams also wrote Courage for Those Who Care (1999) based on her father's experience with Alzheimer's disease.

Acquisition information:
The Martha O. Adams papers were received by the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book Manuscript Library as a gift in 2016.
Processing information:

Processed by Valerie Szwaya, December 2016; Accessions described in this collection guide: 2016-0289.

Rules or conventions:
Describing Archives: A Content Standard


Click on terms below to find related finding aids on this site. For other related materials in the Duke University Libraries, search for these terms in the Catalog.

Feminist theology
Feminism -- Poetry.
Women and religion -- Southern States
Spirituality -- Women
Alzheimer's disease
Women poets
American poetry -- Women authors
Audiovisual materials
Sallie Bingham Center for Women's History and Culture


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Collection is open for research.

Original audiovisual materials require reformatting before use.

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Preferred citation:

[Identification of item], Martha O. Adams papers, David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University.