Poetry in History

Literature: Newspapers - Radio

Historical Events

  • 1760-12-25 Jupiter Hammon, an African American slave, composes poetry broadside "An Evening Thought" (1st poetry published by an African American 1761)

Historic Event

1860-11-03 Poet and critic Matthew Arnold begins his series of lectures "On Translating Home" as Oxford Professor of Poetry at Oxford University

Historic Event

1949-02-19 1st Bollingen Prize for poetry awarded to Ezra Pound

  • 1950-02-20 Dylan Thomas arrives in NYC for his 1st US poetry reading tour
  • 1950-05-01 Gwendolyn Brooks is 1st African American awarded the Pulitzer Prize for poetry
  • 1950-05-27 Bollingen Prize for poetry awarded to Wallace Stevens
  • 1951-01-22 Bollingen Prize for poetry awarded to Johncrowe Ransom
  • 1952-01-11 Bollingen Prize for poetry awarded to Marianne Moore

Historic Event

1953-01-10 Bollingen Prize for poetry awarded to Archibald MacLeish

  • 1954-01-09 Bollingen Prize for poetry awarded to Louise Bogan & Leonie Adams
  • 1954-01-10 Bollingen Prize for poetry awarded to W H Auden

Music History

1955-01-15 Dmitri Shostakovich's "From Jewish Folk Poetry" premieres in Leningrad

Historic Event

1955-10-07 Beat poet Allen Ginsberg reads his poem "Howl" for the first time at a poetry reading in San Francisco.

  • 1956-01-08 Bollingen Prize for poetry awarded to Conrad Aiken
  • 1957-01-13 Bollingen Prize for poetry awarded to Allen Tate
  • 1958-01-06 Bollingen Prize for poetry awarded to E. E. Cummings
  • 1959-01-11 Bollingen Prize for poetry awarded to Theodore Roethke

Historic Event

1959-12-10 Novel Prize for Literature awarded to Sicilian writer Salvatore Quasimodo for his lyrical poetry

  • 1960-01-10 Bollingen Prize for poetry awarded to Delmore Schwartz
  • 1961-01-08 Bollingen Prize for poetry awarded to Yvor Winters
  • 1962-01-07 Bollingen Prize for poetry awarded to John Hall Wheelock [1]

Historic Publication

1964-04-27 John Lennon's book of poetry and sketches "In His Own Write" is published in US

  • 1965-01-10 Bollingen Prize for Poetry awarded to Horace Gregory [1]
  • 1967-02-05 Bollingen Prize for poetry awarded to Robert Penn Warren
  • 1969-01-05 Bollingen prize for poetry presented to John Berryman & Karl Shapiro
  • 1971-01-10 Bollingen Prize for poetry awarded to Richard Wilbur
  • 1975-01-07 Bollingen Prize for poetry awarded to AR Ammons (Sphere)
  • 1979-01-09 Bollingen Prize for poetry awarded to W. S. Merwin
  • 1981-01-13 Bollingen Prize for poetry awarded to May Swenson and Howard Nemerov

Music Premiere

1981-05-11 Andrew Lloyd Webber's musical "Cats" (based on poetry by T. S. Eliot) directed by Trevor Nunn first premieres in the West End, London

  • 1983-01-21 Bollingen Prize for poetry awarded to Anthony E Hecht
  • 1985-01-15 Bollingen Prize for poetry awarded to John Ashbery & Fred Chapell

Music History

2003-09-17 Billy Corgan presents his poetry at the Art Institute of Chicago's Rubloff Auditorium

  • 2021-11-17 US National Book Award given to Jason Mott (fiction), Tiya Miles (nonfiction) and Martín Espada (poetry)

Famous Birthdays

  • 1597-12-23 Martin Opitz, German poet "Father of Modern German Poetry", born in Bunzlau, Silesia (d. 1639)
  • 1598-08-07 Georg Stiernhielm, Swedish scholar and poet often known as "father of Swedish poetry" (Hercules), born in Vika, Sweden (d. 1672)
  • 1711-10-17 Jupiter Hammon, Lloyd Harbor NY, slave and poet, 1st African American to publish poetry
  • 1715-07-25 Immanuel J. Pyra, German poet (Temple of Real Poetry), born in Kottbus, Brandenburg, Germany(d. 1744)
  • 1794-08-10 Leopold Zunz, German Jewish scholar (Science of Judaism), born in Detmold (d. 1886)
  • 1860-12-23 Harriet Monroe, American poet and editor of Poetry magazine (You & I), born in Chicago, Illinois
  • 1892-10-27 Victor E. van Vriesland, Dutch poet (Mirror of Dutch Poetry), born in Haarlem, Netherlands (d. 1974)
  • 1897-11-07 Ruth Pitter, British poet and 1st woman to receive the Queen's Gold Medal for Poetry in 1955, born in Ilford, London (d. 1992)
  • 1923-07-02 Wislawa Szymborska, Prowent, Polish poet referred to as the 'Mozart of Poetry' (Nobel 1996), (d. 2012)
  • 1929-02-28 John Montague, Irish poet and 1st occupant of the Ireland Chair of Poetry, born in Brooklyn, New York
  • 1932-04-10 Adrian Henri, British poet and founder of poetry-rock group (Liverpool Scene), born in Birkenhead, Cheshire, England (d. 2000)
  • 1933-02-27 Edward Lucie-Smith, British poet and poetry critic, born in Kingston, Jamaica
  • 1938-04-20 Johnny Tillotson, American singer-songwriter ("It Keeps Right On A-Hurtin'"; "Poetry In Motion"), born in Jacksonville, Florida
  • 1942-06-21 Henry S. Taylor, American writer at poet (Pulitzer 1986 for Poetry), born in Lincoln, Virginia
  • 1950-07-17 Phoebe Snow [Laub], American singer-songwriter ("Poetry Man"), born in New York City (d. 2011)
  • 1952-07-26 Jan Randall, American-Canadian film, stage and broadcast composer (The Irrelevant Show; Poetry In Motion), born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • 1954-07-04 Chang-dong Lee, South Korean filmmaker and novelist (Secret Sunshine, Poetry), born in Daegu, South Korea
  • 1954-08-15 Mary Jo Salter, American poet and co-editor of The Norton Anthology of Poetry, born in Grand Rapids, Michigan

Famous Deaths

  • 0990-04-23 Ekkehart II [Palatinus], Swiss monk at the Abbey of Saint Gall known for his poetry, dies
  • 1672-04-22 Georg Stiernhielm, Swedish scholar & poet often known as "father of Swedish poetry" (Hercules), dies at 73
  • 1744-07-14 Immanuel J. Pyra, German poet (Temple of True Poetry), dies at 28
  • 1886-03-18 Leopold Zunz, German Jewish scholar (Science of Judaism), dies at 91
  • 1925-05-12 Amy Lowell, American imagist poet (Pulitzer Prize for Poetry) 1926, dies of a cerebral hemorrhage at 51
  • 1974-10-29 Victor E. van Vriesland, Dutch poet (Mirror of Dutch Poetry), dies at 82
  • 1992-02-29 Ruth Pitter, British poet and 1st woman to receive the Queen's Gold Medal for Poetry in 1955, dies at 94
  • 2000-12-20 Adrian Henri, British poet and founder of poetry-rock group (Liverpool Scene), dies at 68
  • 2011-04-26 Phoebe Snow [Laub], American singer-songwriter ("Poetry Man"), dies at 60