James Marcus Schuyler   [1923-1991]

Arts and Letters

James Schuyler was clearly a descendant of the famous New York Schuyler family going back to the seventeenth century. We do not know, however, how he is related and from which Schuyler branch he emerged. James Schuyler was a poet of note and is recognized as a major poet in fact. Based on his literary output, his peer recognition and receipt of a Pulitzer Prize in 1981, he deserves to be included in the listing of prominent Dutch Americans.

James Schuyler was born on November 9, 1923 in Chicago, Illinois. His father was Marcus James Schuyler, a reporter, and his mother was Margaret Daisy Connor Schuyler. Schuyler’s parents divorced early in his life, and he spent most of his childhood with his mother and stepfather. His family moved around extensively. He lived for a while in such places as Downer’s Grove, Illinois, Washington, D.C., Chevy Chase, Maryland, Buffalo, New York, and East Aurora, New York.

James Schuyler attended Bethany College of West Virginia from 1941 to 1943. In 1943, he entered military service by joining the U. S. Navy. He served in the U. S. Navy until 1947. While in the Navy, he spent considerable time on destroyer patrol on the North Atlantic routes during the war years. Following his navy career, he went to work as W.H. Auden’s private secretary in Italy. While in Italy he attended the University of Florence for a year. It is not clear if he ever graduated with a college degree. Following his return from Italy, he lived in New York City and roomed with John Ashberry and Frank O’Hara.

His poetry output was significant. He published well over a dozen books of poetry during his literary career. His first book was “Alfred and Guinevere” in 1958, when he was already 38 years old.  Apparently he did not find his niche in poetry until later in his life. From that time until his death in 1991, he published the poetry books, “Salute” in 1960, “May 24th or So” in 1966, “The Crystal Lithium” in 1972, “Freely Espousing” in 1969 and 1979, “A Sun Cab” in 1972, “Hymn to Life” in 1974, “Song” in 1976, “The Fireproof Floors of Whitley Court, English Songs and Dances” in 1976, “The Home Book, Prose and Poems” in 1977, “The Morning of the Poem” in 1980, and “A Few Days” in 1985.

In addition to the above output, Schuyler also edited and co-published several books on prose and poetry. They include, “A Poets and Painters Anthology”, with Charles North in 1979 and republished in 1989, and “Collabs”, with Helena Hughes, in 1980. He also wrote several plays, and published other literary works.

Following his death, Schuyler was recognized for his life’s work by a number of editors and authors who used Schuyler’s work in their publications. These include, “Collected Poems by James Schuyler”, in 1993, “Two Journals: James Schuyler, Darragh Park”, “Diary of James Schuyler”, edited by Nathan Kernan, in 1996, and “Just the Thing: Selected Letters of James Schuyler”, edited by William Corbett.
James Schuyler won a number of awards and other forms of recognition during his literary career including a Guggenheim Fellowship. The ultimate form of recognition he received was the Pulitzer Prize, which he won for his poetry book, entitled, “The Morning of the Poem”, published in 1988. Schuyler also received the Longview Foundation Award in 1961, The Frank O’Hara Prize in 1969, two National Academy for the Arts Grants in 1969 and 1972, an American Academy Award in 1977, and an Academy of American Poets Fellowship in 1983.

James Schuyler passed away in Manhattan, New York, on April 12, 1991. The cause of his death was a stroke. There is no information on whether he was ever married.

See the appendix at the end of the bio profile for Pieter Schuyler [1657-1724] to understand the relationship, if any, between the eight Schuylers in this listing.



James Schuyler, www.nndb.com/people/221/000048077/

James Schuyler, www.fauxpress.com/kimball/ex/schu.htm

James Schuyler, SUNY Buffalo

James Schuyler,Wikipedia


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