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Reetika Vazirani papers

Identifier: Mss. Acc. 2008.122

  • Staff Only
  • No requestable containers

Scope and Contents

This collection contains the personal and professional papers of Reetika Vazirani.  It includes a number of poems, manuscripts, photographs, floppy disks, correspondence and publications that relate to her work as a published writer and instructor.  The collection also holds personal correspondence, a sketchbook, and legal documents, as well as materials regarding Vazirani's death and legacy. There are also books from her library in Rare Books.


  • Creation: 1967-2008
  • Creation: Majority of material found within 1982-2003


Conditions Governing Access:

Box 9 is restricted until 2043. All other portions of the collection are open to researchers. Consult a staff member for details. Manuscript collections and archival records may contain materials with sensitive or confidential information that is protected under federal or state right to privacy laws and regulations, such as the Virginia Public Records Act (Code of Virginia. § 42.1-76-91); and the Virginia Freedom of Information Act (Code of Virginia § 2.2-3705.5). Confidential material may include, but is not limited to, educational, medical, and personnel records. If sensitive material is found in this collection, please contact a staff member immediately. The disclosure of personally identifiable information pertaining to a living individual may have legal consequences for which the College of William and Mary assumes no responsibility.

Conditions Governing Use:

Before reproducing or quoting from any materials, in whole or in part, permission must be obtained from the Special Collections Research Center, and the holder of the copyright, if not Swem Library.

Biographical Information:

Reetika Gina Vazirani was born August 9, 1962 in Patiala, India. In 1967, her family moved to the United States and settled in Silver Spring, Maryland. After high school, Vazirani earned her bachelor's degree from Wellesley College in 1984. She studied creative writing at Boston University from 1987 to 1988, and graduated with a master's degree in Fine Arts from the University of Virginia in 1997.

Vazirani published a number of essays and poems in anthologies, literary reviews, and journals. Many of her writings drew on her experiences as an Indian immigrant, and she earned critical recognition for her work. Her first book, "White Elephants" (Beacon Press, 1996), was awarded the Barnard New Women Poets Prize, and her second book, "World Hotel" (Copper Canyon Press, 2003), won an Anisfield-Wolf Book Award. Vazirani also served as a contributing and advisory editor on the literary magazines "Shenandoah" and "Callaloo."

Vazirani was also an experienced teacher, having taught creative writing and poetry at a number of universities. She began as a poetry instructor at the University of Virginia in 1996, and served as a visiting assistant professor at the University of Oregon a year later. In 1998, Vazirani accepted the position of the Margaret Banister Writer-in-Residence at Sweet Briar College in Virginia. She briefly taught as a visiting faculty member at the College of New Jersey in 2001. From 2002 to 2003, she served as Writer-in-Residence for the College of William and Mary.

Reetika Vazirani committed suicide on July 16, 2003 in Chevy Chase, Maryland. She was 40 years old. Further information about this individual or organization may be available in the Special Collections Research Center Wiki: .


4.00 Linear Feet (11 boxes)



Arrangement of Materials:

The collection is organized into the following series and sub-series: Series 1: Biographical Materials, 2000-2003

Series 2: Career, 1982-2003, including Sub-series 1: Publishing, 1996-2003; Sub-series 2: Literary Journals and Writing Workshops, 2000-2003; Sub-series 3:  Teaching, 2000-2003; Sub-series 4: Poetry Readings and Job Searches, 1999-2003; Sub-series 5: Colleagues, 2000-2003; Sub-series 6: Correspondence, 2002-2003

Series 3: Personal and Professional Letters and Work, 1985-2006, including Sub-series 1: Background on Miller, 2003; Sub-series 2: Correspondence, 1985-2003; Sub-series 3: Miscellaneous Professional Materials, 1989-2003; Sub-series 4: Death, Funeral, Legacy, 2003-2006

Series 4: Personal Papers and Materials, 1973-2008 including Sub-Series 1: Financial Records, 1981-2005; Sub-series 2: Correspondence, 1993-2003; Sub-series 3: Personal Information and Records, 1973-2003; Sub-Series 4: Articles, Memorials, Condolences, 2003-2008

Series 5: Miscellaneous Career and Personal Items, 1967-2003.

Physical Characteristics or Technical Requirements:

Electronic records which are part of this collection require a computer with appropriate software for viewing.

Related Materials:

University Archives Faculty-Alumni File Collection

Audiocassettes and floppy disks from this collection have been moved to the Manuscripts Audiovisual Collection.

Items added to the Manuscripts Artifact Collection (Mss. 1.03) include:

Red Leather Purse (Mss. 2014.130.01), Sequined Red and Silver Purse (Mss. 2014.130.02), Olivetti Lettera 35L Typewriter and Carrying Case (Mss. 2014.130.03)

Separated Materials:

All audiovisual material from this collection has been moved to the Manuscripts Audiovisual Collection.

Items added to the Manuscripts Artifact Collection (Mss. 1.03) include:

Red Leather Purse (Mss. 2014.130.01), Sequined Red and Silver Purse (Mss. 2014.130.02), Olivetti Lettera 35L Typewriter and Carrying Case (Mss. 2014.130.03)

Processing Information:

Processing and finding aid completed by Kate Hill in April 2009.

Guide to the Reetika Vazirani papers
Kate Hill and William & Mary Special Collections Research Center Staff.
2024 February
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections Research Center Repository