Robert Lowell. Collection,
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Biographical / Historical Note

Robert Lowell studied under John Crowe Ransom during his college years at Kenyon College, where he received his undergraduate degree in 1940. He then took graduate courses at Louisiana State University where he studied with Robert Penn Warren and Cleanth Brooks. His first book of poetry was published when he was 28, Land of Unlikeness (1944). This was followed by Lord Weary’s Castle , for which he received the Pulitzer prize at age thirty. In addition to altercation with the law during the Second World War (he was a vocal conscientious objector), Lowell also suffered throughout his life from crippling bouts with depression. Partly in response to martial problems and his increasingly erratic behavior, Lowell’s style changed radically in the late 1950s, culminating in what is considered by many to be one of the most important volumes of American verse in the second half of the twentieth century: Life Studies (1959). Before his untimely death, he served as the Chancellor of the Academy of American poets.