Howard Nemerov Papers, 1939-1991
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Biographical / Historical Note

Howard Nemerov, a native of New York City, was a widely published poet who has been recognized with numerous prizes, awards, grants, and fellowships. He graduated from Harvard in 1941 and immediately enlisted in the Royal Canadian Air Force. Nemerov flew for the Canadian forces in Europe until 1944, when he joined the U.S. Army Air Force and flew combat missions until 1945. In 1946, Nemerov became an associate editor of Furioso and began teaching at Hamilton College. He served on Furioso until 1951 and taught at several other schools--Bennington College, the University of Minnesota, Brandeis University and Hollins College--until 1963, when he received a one year appointment as Poetry Consultant to the Library of Congress. In 1969, Nemerov joined the English faculty at Washington University where he remained a highly visible and popular teacher, holding the Edward Mallinckrodt Distinguished Professor of English Chair.

Although he was best known as a poet, Nemerov has written novels, short stories, essays, and criticism. His first book, The Image and the Law, was published in 1947 and he has produced over 20 books since then. Nemerov has received nearly every award or prize available to poets including the Prize for Poetry in 1977 for Collected Poems, and the Bollingen Prize for Poetry in 1981. He was inducted into the Academy of American Poets in 1971 and was elected a member of the American Institute of Arts and Letters in 1977.