Howard Nemerov (1920-1991)

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Howard Nemerov (1920-1991) wrote six books of poetry, five essay collections, and five books of fiction. After graduating from Harvard, he served as a pilot in the U.S. Air Force during WWII, earning a rank of first lieutenant. He then began to teach literature to WWII veterans at Hamilton College; then he went on to teach at Bennington College, Brandeis University, and Washington University in St. Louis. At the latter college, he was both Edward Mallinckrodt Distinguished University Professor of English and Distinguished Poet in Residence from 1969 until his death. Nemerov served as Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress from 1963-1964, was a Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets starting in 1976, and was Poet Laureate of the United States from 1988 to 1900. His book ''The Collected Poems of Howard Nemerov'' (1977) won the Pulitzer Prize, the National Book Award, and the Bollingen Prize. He received many awards and honors, including fellowships from The Academy of American Poets and The Guggenheim Foundation, a National Endowment for the Arts grant, and the National Medal of the Arts. He was inducted into the St. Louis Walk of Fame, and inspired The Howard Nemerov Sonnet Award. A few more of his poetry books included ''The Image of the Law'' (1947), ''The Salt Garden'' (1955), and ''Winter Lightning: Selected Poems'' (1968). Some of Nemerov’s poetry was influenced by his time in the war. He almost always wrote in a formal, metrical style, although interestingly enough, his work is sometimes described as “playful.” http://www.poets.org/poet.php/prmPID/222 AND http://www.poemhunter.com/howard-nemerov/biography/ DC Writers' Homes: http://dcwriters.poetrymutual.org/pages/nemerov.html

Written by Word Works intern Monica Root, December 2013.


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