Robert Lowell - Life Stories, Books, and Links
Biographical Information

Stories about Robert Lowell

Selected works by this author

Selected books about / related to this author

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Picture of Robert Lowell; credit: Nancy Crampton
Robert Lowell   (1917 - 1977)
Category:  American Literature
Born:  March 1, 1917
Boston, United States
Died:  September 12, 1977
New York City, United States
Related authors:
John Berryman, Sylvia Plath, Theodore Roethke
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Robert Lowell - LIFE STORIES
9/12/1977     The Death of Robert Lowell    read it now!
On this day in 1977, the poet Robert Lowell died at the age of sixty in the back seat of a New York City taxi. Lowell was on his way from JFK airport to his ex-wife, the writer Elizabeth Hardwick, after a disastrous meeting in Ireland with his present wife, the writer and Guiness heiress, Caroline Blackwood.
10/13/1943     Lowell & the West Street Jail
On this day in 1943 Robert Lowell went to jail for draft evasion. Lowell was barely published at this point, but because he came from a venerated Boston family the event made headline news. He would later turn the jail time into "Memories of West Street and Lepke," a centerpiece poem in Life Studies, the 1959 collection regarded by many as the most important book of American poetry in the second half of the twentieth century.
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Collected Poems
by Robert Lowell, Frank Bidart (Editor), David Gewanter (Editor)
anthology, poetry
Collected Prose
by Robert Lowell, Robert Giroux (Editor)
Day by Day
Life Studies and For the Union Dead
Lord Weary's Castle and the Mills of the Kavanaughs
The Voice of the Poet: Robert Lowell
by Robert Lowell (Reader), J. D. McClatchy
audio cassette
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Critics on Robert Lowell (Readings in Literary Criticism Series; No. 17)
by Jonathan Price (Editor)
literary criticism
Everyday and Prophetic: The Poetry of Lowell, Ammons, Merrill, and Rich
by Nick Halpern
literary criticism
Lost Puritan: A Life of Robert Lowell
by Paul Mariani
My First Cousin Once Removed: Money, Madness, and the Family of Robert Lowell
by Sarah Payne Stuart
Robert Lowell : Essays on the Poetry
by Steven Axelrod (Editor), Helen Deese (Editor)
theory and criticism
Robert Lowell and the Sublime
by Henry Hart
theory and criticism
Robert Lowell's Language of the Self
by Katharine Wallingford
literary analysis
Robert Lowell's Shifting Colors: The Poetics of the Public and the Personal
by William Doreski
theory and criticism
Robert Lowell: A Collection of Critical Essays
by Thomas Parkinson (Editor)
literary analysis
Robert Lowell: Interviews and Memoirs
by Jeffrey Meyers (Editor)
guide, criticism, interviews
The Fading Smile: Poets in Boston from Robert Lowell to Sylvia Plath
by Peter Davison
memoirs, literary history
The Years of Our Friendship: Robert Lowell and Allen Tate
by William Doreski
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Academy of American Poets
Find a short biography, bibliography, and poems including:

  • "To Speak of Woe That Is in Marriage"

  • "Dolphin"

  • "The Drunken Fisherman"

  • "For the Union Dead"

  • "Memories of West Street and Lepke"

  • "Skunk Hour"

  • "Waking in the Blue"
  • Atlantic Monthly
    Find a large selection of articles from the Atlantic Monthly magazine, including book reviews, literary criticism and analysis, and interviews. From "The Difficult Grandeur of Robert Lowell":

    "By the time Lowell died at age sixty, he had been married and separated three times, had renounced his Protestant roots for what turned out to be a temporary obsession with Catholicism, and had spent much of his adult life in and out of mental hospitals. During his manic spells, he was overtaken by surges of larger-than-life emotion that ended up reflected in his poetry."
    Modern American Poetry
    Find biographical notes, a primer on the Vietname War, and analysis of poems including:

  • "Man and Wife"

  • "Skunk Hour"

  • "For the Union Dead"

  • "July in Washington"

  • "The March I" and "The March II"
  • Perspectives in American Literature
    Find a comprehensive bibliography of works by and about the poet. Includes biographies and literary criticism. Audio Recordings
    Listen to audio recordings of Lowell reading "Skunk Hour" and "Dunbarton." From Random House's The Voice Of The Poet series. "A Life's Study"
    Find a review of Collected Poems (Farrar, Straus and Giroux) which considers the poet's enduring legacy, and standing as "America's most important career poet":

    "Lowell's story, of heretical, Promethean ambition dragged to earth and chastened, has struck a number of critics over the years as overly melodramatic, and Lowell, since his death, has been somewhat overshadowed by less self-aggrandizing contemporaries like Elizabeth Bishop or Frank O'Hara, who neither made inordinate claims for the authority of poetry nor a big fuss when those claims proved to be untenable. They left behind bodies of work, whereas Lowell, like Yeats and Milton and very few others, left behind the monumental narrative of a career, which may well, curiously enough, be remembered longer than any single poem he wrote. It is the entirety of that story —- the saga of an audacious maker struggling with the raw materials of history, personality, and language -— that gives so many of the poems their aura of courage and pathos."
    The New York Review of Books
    Find a selection of letters and articles written by and about Lowell in The New York Review of Books. Elsewhere on the website is a piece by Derek Walcott titled "On Robert Lowell." Paid access only.
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