1959 in poetry

1959 in poetry

in?=in poetry
in2?=in literature
cp=19th century
c=20th century
cf=21st century



* In the United States, "Those serious new Bohemians, the beatniks, occupied with reading their deliberately undisciplined, protesting verse in night clubs and hotel ballrooms, created more publicity than poetry", wrote Harrison M. Hayford, an academic at Northwestern University. "Meanwhile back on the campus, the 'square' poets were turning more and more to a controlled verse, much of it good enough to survive the pointed charge of academicism." Non-beat, off-campus poets almost routinely displayed "simple competence in the handling of complex forms", he wrote in Encyclopaedia Britannica's "Britannica Book of the Year 1960", which covered 1959."Britannica Book of the Year 1960", covering events of 1959, published by the Encyclopaedia Britannica, 1960; including these articles: "American Literature", "Canadian Literature", English Literature", "French Literature", "German Literature", "Jewish Literature", "Italian Literature", "Latin American Litrature", "Obituaries", "Spanish Literature" and "Soviet Literature"]
* Literary critic M.L. Rosenthal coins the term "confessional" as used in Confessional poetry in "Poetry as Confession" an article appearing in the September 19 issue of "The Nation"
* March — at a dinner celebrating Robert Frost's 85th birthday, the critic Lionel Trilling gave some brief remarks about Frost's poetry and "permanently changed the way people think about his subject", according to critic Adam Kirsch. Trilling said that Frost, had been long viewed as a folksy, unobjectionable poet, "an articulate Bald Eagle" who gave readers comfortable truths in traditional meter and New England dialect in such schoolbook favorites such as "Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening" and "The Road Not Taken". But the critic said Frost instead was "a terrifying poet" not so much like Longfellow as Sophocles, "who made plain ... the terrible things of human life." Trilling was severely criticized at the time, but his view would become widely accepted in the following decades. [ [http://www.nysun.com/pf.php?id=48424] Kirsch, Adam, "Subterranean Frost Books", a review of "The Notebooks of Robert Frost", in "The New York Sun", February 12, 2007, accessed February 16, 2007]
* The chairmanship of The Group, a grouping of British poets, passed to Edward Lucie-Smith this year when Philip Hobsbaum left London to study in Sheffield. The meetings continued at his house in Chelsea, and the circle of poets expanded to include Fleur Adcock, Taner Baybars, Edwin Brock, and Zulfikar Ghose; others including Nathaniel Tarn circulated poems for comment.
* After 20 years, John Crowe Ransom steps down as editor of The Kenyon Review, which he founded.
*Aldous Huxley turns down the offer of a knighthood.
* Carl Sandburg, poet and historian, lectured at the U.S. fair and exposition in Moscow.
* In France, the centenary of the death of Marceline Desbordes-Valmore was commemorated this year.
* May 18-24 — Nikita Khrushchev, Soviet Union, head of state, in an extemporaneous speech at the Congress of Soviet Writers, calls for indulgence towards "deviationist" writers. At the same conference, the poet Alexis Surkov again condemns writing "hostile to socialist realism and denounces fellow poet Boris Pasternak as acting in a way that is "trecherous and unworthy of a Soviet writer". A liberalizing trend in the state's treatment of its writers is evident. Surkov, the subject of intense criticism himself, resigned from the congress, and at some point in the year attacks against Pasternak ceased.
* The journal "Canadian Literature" is founded by George Woodcock at the University of British Columbia.
* The British poetry magazine "Agenda" was founded by William Cookson and Ezra Pound. [ [http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/books/features/agenda-the-long-and-the-short-of-excellence-in-poetry-815709.html "'Agenda': the long and the short of excellence in poetry"] article (no byline) in "The Independent", April 25, 2008, accessed April 27, 2008]

Works published in English


* Ronald Bates, "The Wandering World"
* R. Gustafson, "The Penguin Book of Canadian Verse", anthology [Preminger, Alex and T.V.F. Brogan, et al., editors, "The Princeton Encyclopedia of Poetry and Poetics", 1993, Princeton University Press and MJF Books, "Canadian Poetry" article, English "Anthologies" section, p 164]
* George Johnston, "The Cruising Auk"
* Irving Layton:
** "A Red Carpet for the Sun"
** "Laughter in the Mind"

=United Kingdom=

* Patricia Beer, "The Loss of the Magyar", a first book of poems
* Edwin Bronk, "An Attempt at Exorcism", Northwood, Middlesex: Scorpion PressM. L. Rosenthal, "The New Poets: American and British Poetry Since World War II", New York: Oxford University Press, 1967, "Selected Bibliography: Individual Volumes by Poets Discussed", pp 334-340]
* Robert Graves, "Collected Poems", the fourth version
* James Harrison, "Catchment Area", a first book of poems
* Laurence Lerner, "Domestic Interior", a first book of poems
* Christopher Logue, "Songs"
* Louis MacNeice, "Eighty-Five Poems"
* James Michie, "Possible Laughter", a first book of poems
* I. A. Richards, "Goodbye Earth", a first book of poems by a longtime critic
* Anne Ridler, "A Matter of Life and Death"
* Rex Taylor, "Poems", a first book of poems

Anthologies in the United Kingdom

* Edwin Muir, editor, "New Poets 1959", an anthology including work by Iain Crichton Smith, Karen Gershon and Christopher Levenson
* Guy Butler, "A Book of South African Verse"

=United States=

* Hayden Carruth, "the Crow and the Heart", New York: Macmillan
* Louis O. Coxe, "The Wilderness, and Other Poems"
* Babette Deutsch, "Coming of Age"
* Robert Duncan, "Selected Poems", San Francisco: City Lights Books
* William Everson (also known as "Brother Antoninus"), "The Crooked Lines of God", University of Detroit Press
* John Fandel, "Testament, and Other Poems"
* Barbara Gibbs, "The Green Chapel"
* Allen Ginsberg, "Kaddish", written about his mentally-ill mother
* Ramon Guthrie, "graffiti", New York: Macmillan
* Donald Hall, "Dark Houses"
* Barbara Howes, "Light and Dark"
* Langston Hughes, "Selected Poems"
* Kenneth Koch, "Ko, or a Season on Earth"
* Denise Levertov, "With Eyes at the Back of Our Heads", New York: New Directions
* Robert Lowell, "Life Studies", a book on his family and on his own life that reflected stylistic changes that seemed more in line with the popular openness of Beat and Confessional poetry
* James Merrill, "The Country of a Thousand Years of Peace, and Other Poems"
* Marianne Moore, "O to Be a Dragon"
* Ned O'Gorman, "The Night of the Hammer"
* Hyam Plutzik, "Apples From Shinar"
* Charles Reznikoff, "Inscriptions: 1944-1956", self-published
* Theodore Roethke, "Words for the Wind"
* Delmore Schwartz, "Summer Knowledge: New and Selected Poems 1938-1958", Garden City, New York: Doubleday
* Louis Simpson, "A Dream of Governors", Middletown, Connecticut: Wesleyan University Press
* May Swenson, "A Cage of Spines"
* David Wagoner, "A Place to Stand"
* Reed Whittemore, "The Self-Made Man"
* Richard Wilbur, "Advice to a Prophet and Other Poems", New York: Reynal and Hitchcock
* James Wright, "Saint Judas", Middletown, Connecticut: Wesleyan University Press
* Louis Zukofsky, "A 1-12" published by Cid Corman's Origin Press

Criticism, scholarship and biography in the United States

* Richard Ellmann, "James Joyce", biography, winner of the National Book Award in 1960
* Hugh Kenner (Canadian writing and published in the United States):
** "The Art of Poetry", criticism
** "The Invisible Poet: T. S. Eliot" (revised edition in 1969), criticism

Other in English

* M. K. Joseph, "The Living Countries", New Zealand [http://www.teara.govt.nz/1966/L/LiteraturePoetry/TheContemporaryScene/en Web page titled "The Contemporary Scene"] in "An Encyclopedia of New Zealand, 1966 website, accessed April 21, 2008]
* E. H. McCormick, "New Zealand Literature, a Survey", acholarship, New ZealandPreminger, Alex and T.V.F. Brogan, et al., editors, "The Princeton Encyclopedia of Poetry and Poetics", 1993, Princeton University Press and MJF Books, "New Zealand Poetry" article, "History and Criticism" section, p 837]
* Chris Wallace-Crabbe, "The Music of Division", Sydney: Angus & Robertson, Australia

Works published in other languages

French language


Anthologies in France

* Roger Caillois and Jean Clarence Lambert, editors, " _fr. Trésor de la poésie universelle"
* Max Pol Fouchet, " _fr. De L'Amour au voyage, anthologie thématique de la poésie française"
* Paul Valéry wrote the preface to the new edition this year of " _fr. Anthologie des poètes de la N. R. F."

Criticism, scholarship and biography in France

* " _fr. Correspondance de Stéphane Mallarmé" (1862-1871)


* Maurice Beaulieu, "Il fait clair de glaise"
* Olivier Marchand, "Crier que je vis"
* Fernand Ouellet, Séquences de l'Aile"

Criticism, scholarship and biography in French Canada

* Editor not known, "La Poésie et nous", a collection of essays on poetry



* L. Ben-Amitai, "Ahaliba"
* Leah Goldberg, "Mukdam Umeuhar" ("Early and Late")
* Abraham Halfi, "ka-Almonin ba-Geshem" ("As the Unknown in the Rain")
* Yeshurun Keshet, "Hayim Genuzim" ("Hidden Life")
* Shimshon Meltzer, "Or Zorua", ("Scattered Light")
* Yonathan Ratush, "Zela"
* Zalmen Shneur, a 10-volume collection of his poems

United States

* M. S. Ben-Meir, "Zel Utzlil" ("Shadow and Sound"), posthumous
* A. S. Schwartz, "Shirim" ("Poems"), posthumous


Anthologies in Italy

* Editor not known, "Nuovi poeti", an anthology of Italian poetry since 1945
* Salvatore Quasimodo, editor, "Poesia italiana del dopoguerra", an anthology of Italian poetry since 1945

panish language

=Latin America=

* Santos Chocano, "Poesía de Santos Chocano"
* Rafael Maya, "Navegación nocturna"
* Pablo Neruda, "Estravagario" (Chile)
* Octavio Paz, "La estación violenta"
* Valdelomar, "Obra poética"

Anthologies in Latin America

* P. Félix Restrepo, prologue and epilogue, "Poemas de Colombia", published by the Colombian Academy, with biographical notes by Carlos López Narváez
* Antonio de Undurraga, editor, "Atlas de la poesía de Chile", including poetry from Guillermo Blest Gana and Luis Merino Reyes

Criticism, scholarship and biography in Latin America

* Raúl Leiva, "Imagen de la poesía mexicana contemporánea", concerning 29 poets


* Gabriel Celaya, "Cantata en Aleixandre", verse variations on themes of Vicente Aleixandre, published as a book by the literary magazine "Papeles de sSon Armadans"


* B. Y. Bialostotsky, a book of poetry
* M. Daych, a book of poetry
* E. Korman, a book of poetry
* H. Leyvik, "Lider tsum eybikn" ("Songs to the Eternal")
* Efrayim Oyerbakh, a book of poetry
* Y. Tsvi Shargel, a book of poetry


* Mário Cesariny, "Nobilíssima Visão" (Portugal)
* Odysseus Elytis, "To Axion Esti — It Is Worthy" (Greece)

Awards and honors

=United Kingdom=

* Queen's Gold Medal for Poetry: Francis Cornford

=United States=

* Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress (later the post would be called "Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress"): Richard Eberhart appointed this year.
* National Book Award for Poetry: Theodore Roethke, "Words for the Wind"
* Pulitzer Prize for Poetry: Stanley Kunitz, "Selected Poems 1928-1958"
* Bollingen Prize: Theodore Roethke
* Fellowship of the Academy of American Poets: Louise Bogan


* Premio de la Crítica in poetry (Spain): Blas de Otero


* date not known:
** Carl Phillips, American writer and poet
** Brian P. Cleary
** Peter Gizzi, American poet
** Laura Lush


* January 3 — Edwin Muir, 72, Scottish poet, novelist and translator
* February 20 — Zalman Shneur, 72, Hebrew-Yiddish poet and author
* February 23 — Luis Palés Matos, Puerto Rican poet, of a heart attack
* April 4 — Sarah Cleghorn, 83
* June 23 — Boris Vian, 39, French writer, poet, singer, and musician
* July 6 — George Grosz (born 1893), German artist and poet, died from falling down a flight of stairs after a night drinking
* August 5 — Edgar Guest, 79, American poet known as the "poet of the people"
* September 18 — Benjamin Péret, 60, French poet and Surrealist
* December 27 — Alfonso Reyes, 70, Mexican poet, and writer
* date not known — Denis Devlin

ee also

* Poetry
* List of poetry awards
* List of years in poetry


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