Arthur Yvor Winters (
October 17, 1900- January 26, 1968) was an American poet and literary critic, whose criticism was often embroiled in controversy
His early poetry, which appeared in small avant-garde magazines alongside work by writers like
James Joyceand Gertrude Stein, was written in the modernist idiom, and was heavily influenced both by Native American poetry and by Imagism. His essay "The Testament of a Stone" gives an account of his poetics during this early period.
Around 1930, he turned away from modernism and developed an Augustan style of writing, notable for its clarity of statement and its formality of rhyme and rhythm.
His critical style — dogmatic, moralising, dismissive —Facts|date=January 2008 was comparable to that of
F. R. Leavis, and in the same way he created a school of students (of mixed loyalty). His affiliations and proposed canon, however, were quite different: Edith Wharton's The Age of Innocenceabove any one novel by Henry James, Robert Bridgesabove T. S. Eliot, Charles Churchill above Alexander Pope, Fulke Grevilleand George Gascoigneabove Sidney and Spenser.
romanticism, particularly in American manifestations, and set about Emerson's reputation as that of a sacred cow.Facts|date=January 2008 (Ironically, his first book of poems, "Diadems and Fagots," takes its title from one of Emerson's poems.) In this he was probably influenced by Irving Babbitt. Winters was sometimes and questionably associated with the New Criticism, largely because John Crowe Ransomdevoted a chapter to him in his book by the same name.
He was born in
Chicago, Illinoisand brought up in Eagle Rock, California. He attended the University of Chicagowhere he was a member of a literary circle including Glenway Wescott, Elizabeth Madox Roberts, and his future wife Janet Lewis. He suffered from tuberculosisin his late teens, and moved to Santa Fe, New Mexico. There he recuperated, wrote his early published verse, and taught. In 1925 he became an undergraduate at the University of Colorado.
In 1926 he married the poet and novelist
Janet Lewis, also from Chicago and a tuberculosis sufferer. After graduating he taught at the University of Idaho, and then started a doctorate at Stanford University. He remained at Stanford until two years before his death, from throat cancer. His students included the poets Thom Gunn, Donald Hall, Jim McMichael, N. Scott Momaday, Robert Pinsky, John Matthias, and Robert Hassand the critic Gerald Graff. He was also a mentor to Donald Justiceand J.V. Cunningham.
He edited "Gyroscope", a literary magazine, with his wife, from 1929 to 1931; and "
Hound & Horn" from 1932 to 1934.
He was awarded the 1960
Bollingen Prize for Poetryfor his "Collected Poems".
*Diadems and Fagots (1921) poems
*The Immobile Wind (1921) poems
*The Magpie's Shadow (1922) poems
*The Bare Hills (1927) poems
*The Proof (1930) poems
*The Journey and Other Poems (1931) poems
*Before Disaster (1934) poems
*Primitivism and Decadence: A Study of American Experimental Poetry (1937)
*Maule's Curse: Seven Studies in the History of American Obscurantism (1938)
*The Giant Weapon (1943) poems
*The Anatomy of Nonsense (1943)
*Edwin Arlington Robinson (1946)
*In Defense of Reason (1947) collects Primitivism, Maule and Anatomy
*To the Holy Spirit (1947) poems
*Three Poems (1950)
*Collected Poems (1952, revised 1960)
*The Function of Criticism: Problems and Exercises (1957)
*On Modern Poets: Stevens, Eliot, Ransom, Crane, Hopkins, Frost (1959)
*The Early Poems of Yvor Winters, 1920-1928 (1966)
*Forms of Discovery: Critical and Historical Essays on the Forms of the Short Poem in English (1967)
*Uncollected Essays and Reviews (1976).
*The Collected Poems of Yvor Winters; with an introduction by
*Uncollected Poems 1919-1928 (1997)
*Uncollected Poems, 1929-1957 (1997)
*Yvor Winters: Selected Poems (2003) edited by
*Twelve Poets of the Pacific (1937)
*Selected Poems, by Elizabeth Daryush (1948); with a foreword by Winters
*Poets of the Pacific, Second Series (1949)
*Quest for Reality: An Anthology of Short Poems in English (1969); with, and with an introduction by,
*The Complex of Yvor Winters' Criticism (1973) Richard J. Sexton
*Hart Crane and Yvor Winters (1978) Thomas Francis Parkinson
*An Introduction to the Poetry of Yvor Winters (1981) Elizabeth Isaacs
*Language as Being in the Poetry of Yvor Winters (1980) Grosvenor Powell
*Wisdom and Wilderness: The Achievement of Yvor Winters (1983)
*In Defense of Winters (1986) Terry Comito
*cite news | first=Rafe | last=Champion | coauthors= | title=Winters: A Man For All Reasons | date=2002 | publisher= | url =http://www.the-rathouse.com/YWinters_essayRC.html | work = | pages = | accessdate = | language =
Yvor Winters's alternative canon of Elizabethan poetry
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