Mark Van Doren

A member of the faculty of Columbia University for 39 years, Mark Van Doren was a notable writer as well as teacher, winning the Pulitzer Prize in 1939 for his Collected Poems.

Photo: Mark Van Doren, Coumbia 250 website, Mark Van Doren profile

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Born in Illinois, Van Doren was the fourth of five sons. One of his older brothers was Carl Van Doren, a famous biographer, who often collaborated with Mark.

Van Doren earned his Bachelor of Arts at the University of Illinois and then studied at Columbia University, earning his Ph.D. there in 1920. Upon his completion of the Ph.D., he joined the faculty of Columbia and became a notable professor, teaching and inspiring many future writers, including Allen Ginsberg and John Hollander. (Van Doren even testified on behalf of Ginsberg during his 1949 trial, helping Ginsberg avoid time in jail). In 1962, students of Columbia University established the Mark Van Doren Award to honor a great teacher every year.

In addition to writing poetry, Van Doren was also an editor and biographer. He served as both literary editor and film critic of The Nation for several years.

–Christie Finn

Related Information




Mark Van Doren Reads From His Poems

(Mark Van Doren)

Sheet Music


Composer(s): Scott Wheeler

Song(s): 1. If I had a wife 2. Her hand in my hand 3. Little Trip 4. Desire Like This 5. Love me little

Buy via Classical Vocal Reprints

Songs by John Duke, Vol. 3

Composer(s): John Duke

Song(s): 1. Bredon Hill (А.Е. Housman)
2. Reality (Dorothy Duke)
3. Penguin Geometry (Donald Wheelock)
4. Good Morning (Mark Van Doren)
5. Walking in the Rain (Mark Van Doren)
6. Those Great Clouds There (Mark Van Doren)
7. Water that Falls and Runs Away (Mark Van Doren)
8. Listen to Us, the Leaves Say (Mark Van Doren)
9. Merry-go-round (Mark Van Doren)
10. Stillness (Karen Duke)
11. Lovely (Mary L. Fortson)
12. The Sheaves (E.A. Robinson)
13. А Winter Night (Sara Teasdale)
14. The Return from Town (Edna St. Vincent Millay)
15. When, in Disgrace with Fortune (William Shakespeare)
16. Politics (W.B. Yeats)
17. Old Ben Golliday (Mark Van Doren)
18. Tiger! Tiger! (William Blake)
19. She's Somewhere in the Sunlight Strong (Richard LeGallienne)
20. I Lost My Heart (A.E. Housman)
21. The Wind Has Changed (Mark Van Doren)

Voice Type: Mixed Voice, High/Medium

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