Discipline: Literature – poetry

Donald Justice

Discipline: Literature – poetry
Region: Iowa City, IA
MacDowell Fellowships: 1966, 1974

Donald Justice (1925 – 2004) earned a bachelor’s degree in English literature from the University of Miami in 1945, a master’s of art from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill in 1947, studied for a time at Stanford University, and ultimately earned a doctorate from the University of Iowa in 1954. He went on to teach for many years at the Iowa Writers' Workshop, the nation's first graduate program in creative writing. He also taught at Syracuse University, the University of California at Irvine, Princeton University, the University of Virginia, and the University of Florida in Gainesville. He published 13 collections of his poetry, the first of which, entitled The Summer Anniversaries, was the winner of the Lamont Poetry Prize given by the Academy of American Poets in 1961. In 1979, his Selected Poems was published and won the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry the following year. Justice was awarded the Bollingen Prize in Poetry in 1991 and the Lannan Literary Award for Poetry in 1996. His honors also included grants from the Guggenheim Foundation, the Rockefeller Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Arts. His, Collected Poems, was nominated for the National Book Award in 2004 and he was also a National Book Award Finalist in 1961, 1974, and 1995. In addition to poetry and occasional short prose memoirs, Justice wrote criticism, essays, and an opera libretto entitles The Death of Lincoln (1988).



Donald Justice worked in the Banks studio.

Banks, an ell on the north end of the Lodge dormitory, was first used as an artist’s studio in 1970. Since then, it has played host to an extraordinary list of writers working in several disciplines. In all seasons, Fellows have enjoyed the pastoral view through the French doors facing a field…

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