Howard Nemerov

Howard Nemerov served twice as Poet Laureate of the United States (1963-1964 and 1988-1990). He also won the Pulitzer Prize, the National Book Award, and the Bollingen Prize for The Collected Poems of Howard Nemerov.

Photo: Howard Nemerov, public domain

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Born in New York City, Nemerov’s father was a professor of art history at Yale University, and his younger sister became famed photographer Diane Nemerov Arbus. After living a privileged life in New York, Nemerov attended Harvard and served as a pilot during World War II. After returning from the war, Nemerov held positions as several universities throughout the United States until his death from cancer in 1991.

Nemerov’s poetry is almost exclusively formal, employing traditional structure but combining strict organization with wit and playfulness of language.

–Christie Finn

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