John Pauker (1920-1991)

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John Pauker (1920-1991) wrote 14 total books, including four poetry books published in America, two in India, one in Iran, one in France, and several fiction books, books of literary criticism, and plays published in America. He was born in Hungary and moved to the U.S. in 1924. During WWII, he started working for the U.S. government, and throughout his life he worked in the Office of War Information, Voice of America Radio, the U.S. Embassy in India, and the U.S. Information Agency (where he was a chief policy guidance officer). He was also a speechwriter for the White House. Besides his writing and government work, Pauker also co-founded and edited the journal Furioso and was a translator. One of his plays, Moonbirds, was produced on Broadway. Many of his relatives died in the Holocaust, so he was motivated to pay to make it possible for many writers and academics to travel to America to escape persecution and likely death in their home countries because of war and genocide. He often held readings of the work of such international writers at his house and helped them find teaching jobs. Pauker’s poetry books that were published in the U.S. were Yoked by Violence (1949), Excellence (1968), Angry Candy (1976), and In Solitary and Other Imaginations (1977), the latter of which was published by The Word Works. His poetic style was often confessional, deep, and profound in unexpected ways. He liked to explore what it meant to be human in his work.

Beltway Poetry Quarterly: DC Writers' Homes:

Written by Word Works intern Monica Root, December 2013.

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