Mona Van Duyn was an award-winning poet, a teacher of poetry at several major universities and a respected editor. She was born in Waterloo, Iowa on May 9, 1921. She earned her B. A. degree at the University of Northern Iowa, and her M. A. degree at the University of Iowa in 1943. During her academic career she taught writing at the University of Iowa, at Washington University in Saint Louis, and at the University of Louisville in Louisville, Kentucky. Together with her husband, Jarvis Thurston, she founded the poetry magazine, “Poetry” in 1947, and she co-edited the magazine until 1975.
Mona Van Duyn is the author of many publications, mostly poems or collections of poems. Her first major publication was “Valentines to the Wide World”, in 1959. In 1964, she published “A Time of Bees”, followed in 1970 by, “To See, To Take”, which received the National Book Award in 1971. “Bedtime Stories” followed in 1972, followed by “Merciful Disguises” in 1973. In 1982, she published, “Letters from a Father, and Other Poems”. After an eight year gap, in 1990, she published, “Near Changes”, for which she received the Pulitzer Prize in 1991. In 1993, “Firefall” appeared and in 1994, she published, “If It Be Not I: Collected Poems, 1959-1982”. Van Duyn’s apparent final publication was “Selected Poems”, published in 2002.
Van Duyn received four major awards during her career. In 1971, she won the National Book Award for “To See, To Take”. Also in 1971, she won the Bollingen Prize in poetry, and again for “To See, To Take”. In 1991, she won the most coveted prize in literature, the Pulitzer Prize for “Near Changes”. And for the period from 1992 to 1993, Van Duyn served as the first woman Poet Laureate of the United States. In addition to the above awards, Van Duyn was also awarded the Hart Crane Memorial Award, the Ruth Lily Prize, the Loines Prize of the Institute of Arts and Letters, the Harriet Monroe Memorial Prize, the Eunice Tietjens Award from “Poetry” magazine, and the Shelley Memorial Prize.
Van Duyn received a number of fellowships, which are essentially recognitions for the quality of her contributions. She was awarded fellowships by the Academy of American Poets, by the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, by the Guggenheim Foundation, and by the National Endowment for the Arts.
The highest honors for quality of contributions during a life time of scholarship are honorary doctorates. Van Duyn received several of them from major universities. She was awarded the Honorary Doctoral Degree of Letters by Washington University, by Cornell College, by the University of Northern Iowa, and by the University of the South.
Van Duyn passed away on December 2, 2004, after suffering from bone cancer.
Mona Van Duyn, http://www.poets.org/poet.php/prmPID/169
Mona Van Duyn, http://www.nndb.com/people/397/000048253
E-BOOKS AVAILABLE FROM AMAZON; GOOGLE: Kindle Store Pegels
PROMINENT DUTCH AMERICANS, CURRENT AND HISTORIC
EIGHT PROMINENT DUTCH AMERICAN FAMILIES: THE ROOSEVELTS, VANDERBILTS AND OTHERS, 2015
FIFTEEN PROMINENT DUTCH AMERICAN FAMILIES: THE VAN BURENS, KOCH BROTHERS, VOORHEES AND OTHERS, 2015
PROMINENT DUTCH AMERICANS IN U.S. GOVERNMENT LEADERSHIP POSITIONS, 2015
DUTCH PEGELS INVOLVED IN WARS
ALLIED EUROPE CAMPAIGN—1944/1945: TACTICAL MISTAKES, 2017
THE SECOND WORLD WAR IN THE NETHERLANDS: MEMOIRS, 2017
FRENCH REVOLUTION, NAPOLEON AND RUSSIAN WAR OF 1812, 2015