Lowell, Robert, 1917-1977

Alternative names
Birth 1917-03-01
Death 1977-09-12

Biographical notes:

American poet, playwright, translator, educator.

From the description of Papers, 1845-1988 (bulk 1970-1977). (Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center (HRC); University of Texas at Austin). WorldCat record id: 122453067

Lowell was an American poet. Bidart (1939-) was a student of Lowell's and is also an American poet.

From the guide to the Robert Lowell letters to Frank Bidart, 1970-1976., (Houghton Library, Harvard College Library, Harvard University)

An earlier version of this play had been a part of the program The Old Glory, the first American Place Theatre production at St. Thomas Episcopal Church, 423 West 46th Street, New York, N.Y., in Nov. 1964. This script, however, was not presented until Feb. 1968 by the same producer in the same building.

From the description of Endecott and the red cross, / by Robert Lowell, 1968. (New York Public Library). WorldCat record id: 764526884

Lowell was an American poet.

From the description of Robert Lowell papers, 1861-1976 (inclusive) 1935-1970 (bulk). (Harvard University). WorldCat record id: 612368977

From the description of Letters to Frank Bidart, 1970-1976. (Harvard University). WorldCat record id: 79356550

From the guide to the Robert Lowell papers, 1861-1976 (inclusive) 1935-1970 (bulk)., (Houghton Library, Harvard College Library, Harvard University)

Robert Lowell was an American poet, playwright, and translator.

From the description of Robert Lowell collection of papers, 1943-1977. (New York Public Library). WorldCat record id: 122596971

From the guide to the Robert Lowell collection of papers, 1943-1977, (The New York Public Library. Henry W. and Albert A. Berg Collection of English and American Literature.)


From the description of Reminiscences of Robert Traill Spence Lowell, Jr. : lecture, 1965. (Columbia University In the City of New York). WorldCat record id: 309742953

Robert Lowell, poet, translator and adaptor; Aeschylus, playwright.

From the description of Clytemnestra, part two : Agamemnon, typescript, 1992. (New York Public Library). WorldCat record id: 144652501

American poet Robert Traill Spence Lowell IV was born in Boston on March 1, 1917, to Robert Traill Spence Lowell III and Charlotte Winslow Lowell, a relation of writers James Russell Lowell and Amy Lowell. In addition to being the descendant of poets, Lowell encountered and was taught by numerous prominent poets during his classicist education. Lowell attended St. Mark's School (1930-1935), where he was influenced by Richard Eberhart, and Harvard University (1935-1937). In 1937, Boston psychiatrist and poet Merrill Moore sent young Lowell to meet Ford Madox Ford, who was visiting Allen Tate in Tennessee at the time. It was there that Tate introduced Lowell to John Crowe Ransom, and Lowell subsequently transferred to Kenyon College (1937-1940) where Ransom had accepted a new post. It was at Kenyon that Lowell made the acquaintance of lifelong friends Randall Jarrell and Peter Taylor. Lowell also came under the tutelage of Robert Penn Warren and Cleanth Brooks when he undertook further study at Louisiana State University (1940-1941).

After college, Lowell worked as an editor and as a teacher at several institutions, including the State University of Iowa, the Kenyon School of Letters, Boston University, Harvard University, the University of Essex, and Kent University, among others. During his career, he taught such poets as W. D. Snodgrass, Anne Sexton, and Sylvia Plath.

His first volume of poetry, Land of Unlikeness, was published in 1944 and was followed in 1946 by his Pulitzer Prize winning effort Lord Weary's Castle. Lowell also won the National Book Award for his 1959 work Life Studies, and again received the Pulitzer for The Dolphin, published in 1973. His final work, Day By Day, was published in 1977 and was awarded the National Book Award Critics Circle Award. His other major works include: Poems 1938-1949 (1950), The Mills of the Kavanaughs (1951), For the Union Dead (1964), Near the Ocean (1967), Notebook 1967-1968 (1969), For Lizzie and Harriet (1973), and History (1973).

Lowell also wrote and translated plays ( Phaedra and Figaro, 1961; The Old Glory, 1965; Prometheus Bound, 1969; The Oresteia of Aeschylus, 1978), and published translations of poetry by Eugenio Montale ( Poesie di Montale, 1960), Baudelaire ( The Voyage and Other Versions of Poems by Baudelaire, 1968), and others ( Imitations, 1961).

His work especially during the 1960s and 1970s stressed his preoccupations with political and social issues, such as protest of the

Vietnam War and support of presidential candidate Eugene McCarthy. During this same period, Lowell's early formal style gave way to a controversial personal or confessional style of poetry under the influence of such poets as John Berryman, William Carlos Williams, and Ezra Pound.

Lowell was married to Jean Stafford (1940, divorced 1948), to Elizabeth Hardwick (1949, divorced 1972), and to Caroline Blackwood (1972), and had two children, Harriet Winslow Lowell (born 1957) and Robert Sheridan Lowell (born 1971). He lived primarily in England after 1970 and died September 12, 1977, while on a visit to New York City.

From the guide to the Robert Lowell Papers TXRC94-A10., ca. 1845-1988, (bulk 1970-1977), (Harry Ransom Center, University of Texas at Austin)


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Ark ID:


  • Poetry
  • American poetry--20th century
  • American literature--20th century
  • Poets--Interviews
  • Poets, American--20th century--Relations with women
  • Poets, American--20th century


  • Translator
  • Poets


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