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Stefanile, Selma | Purdue University Libraries, Archives and Special Collections

Name: Stefanile, Selma
Variant Name: Selma Epstein

Historical Note: Selma Epstein was born in New York City, NY on June 5, 1922. She finished elementary school in New York City on June 26, 1936 and went on to complete her high school diploma in January 1940 from Julia Richamn High School. On June 27, 1945, she graduated from Hunter College in New York City with a BA in Pre-social work. Soon after graduation from college, Selma enlisted with the United States Navy on June 12, 1945 and was stationed at naval bases in New York, Washington D.C. and Illinois. She was honorably discharged from the Navy on August 28, 1946. Selma met Felix Stefanile in 1952. They were later married on January 17, 1953 in Albertson, New York while they were both employed by the New York State Department of Labor. Selma and Felix Stefanile worked together to begin publishing Sparrow, a poetry magazine, in 1954, while still living in New York. Selma encouraged Felix to take the Visiting Poet and Lecturer position at Purdue in 1961 and soon began graduate work at Purdue University in Modern Languages. She supported Felix's writing career by taking notes for him and typing up his rough drafts. Selma was also a poet in her own rite. Books written by Selma Stefanile include: Indiana Indiana, The Poem beyond my reach and I know a wise bird.
Sources: Materials within the collection
Note Author: Shauna Borger

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