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Maude Leet Prenshaw Papers

Identifier: M262

Scope and Contents

The Maude Leet Prenshaw Papers consist primarily of manuscript and typescript versions of Prenshaw's poems and other writings, copies of "The Mississippi Poetry Journal" (1957-1973) and related materials, and works sent to Prenshaw by other writers. Smaller amounts of her published works, biographical information, correspondence, newspaper clippings, and photographs are also a part of the collection. Included is one of her early poems published in 1926, however, most materials date from the 1950s and 1960s.


  • 1926-1975

Conditions Governing Access

Noncirculating; available for research.

Conditions Governing Use

This collection may be protected from unauthorized copying by the Copyright Law of the United States (Title 17, United States Code).

Biographical / Historical

Maude Willard Leet Prenshaw was born August 2, 1889. Her maiden name "Leet" is the name under which she wrote poetry throughout her adult life. Her parents were William Gleason and Laura Adeline Mason Leet. One of four daughters, she was educated at St. Rose of Lima's Academy and also took a number of courses at University extension branches. She was married to Eric Richard Prenshaw and was his assistant in his construction business. At various times, she lived in Leland, Jackson, and Clinton (all in Mississippi). Leet was a descendant of William Leet, first Colonial Governor of Connecticut, a distant cousin of W.A. Percy, and a descendant of Revolutionary War hero Captain Nathan Mason. She was a member of the Magna Carta Dames and the Daughters of the American Revolution, and served the latter organization as Regent of the Belvedere Chapter.

One of Leet's major interests was poetry. She served four years as president of the Mississippi Poetry Society and was given the title of honorary president of the organization after her term of office. She published an anthology of her poems entitled Toward The Stars and was a regular contributor to numerous poetry journals including "Lyric", "The Green World", "Writer's Notes and Quotes", and "The Mississippi Poetry Journal". She was editor of The "Mississippi Poetry Journal" for a number of years and was instrumental in the founding of the Mississippi Poetry Festival.

In 1963 she was named Poet Laureate of Mississippi by Governor Ross Barnett, and she wrote a number of poems in honor of leading citizens of the state and the capital city, including Lt. Governor Paul B. Johnson. Leet was also active in numerous national poetry societies and the National League of American Pen Women.


1.70 Cubic Feet

Language of Materials



Donated by Dr. Peggy Prenshaw in 1990.

Related Materials


Copies of the following titles are available in the Cook and McCain Libraries:

Mississippi Poetry Journal (Jackson, Miss.: Mississippi Poetry Society, 1957- ), call number PS613 .M76 (McCain).

Mississippi Poetry Society, Toward the Stars (Jackson, Miss.: 1944), call number PS558.M7 M5 (McCain).

Mississippi Poetry Society, Toward the Stars (Jackson, Miss.: 1949), call number PS558.M7 M5 1949 (Cook, McCain).

Maude Leet Prenshaw Papers
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Repository Details

Part of the Historical Manuscripts and Photographs Repository

118 College Drive - 5148
Hattiesburg MS 39406-0001