Constance Urdang, a native of New York City, is a writer who has achieved
critical success as a poet and novelist and academic success as a teacher
of writing. She did her undergraduate studies at Smith College. Following
her graduation, Urdang worked for some years as a military intelligence analyst
for the U.S. Department of the Army and as an editor for several New York
publishers. Urdang returned to school in 1954 and in 1956 she received her
MFA in writing from the University of Iowa. In 1960, Urdang and her husband,
the poet Donald Finkel, came to Washington University where they have taught
in and co-directed the graduate Writers' Program.
In 1965, Urdang's first collection of poems, Charades
and Celebrations, was published and four years later her only novel, Natural History, appeared. Since that time, Urdang
has written three additional collections of poetry, The
Picnic in the Cemetery (1975), The Lone Woman
and Others (1980), and Only the World (1983).