Nancy Willard was born June 26, 1936 in Ann Arbor, Michigan. She attended the University of Michigan, graduating with a B.A. in 1958, and received a Ph.D. from Stanford University. Willard began drawing and writing as a child, and throughout her career has worked as a teacher, writer and illustrator. She writes fiction for children and poetry for both children and adults, and has also illustrated works by other authors, and her books have been praised by critics for their "observations, imagination and expression," and a "magic view of life." Some of Willard's earliest books, the "Anatole" stories illuminate the author's belief that life incorporates both imagination and metaphor, and her keen interest in the struggle between good and evil, and what drives the forces of life and death. Critics cite these stories for the author's ability to transcend the gap between fantasy and reality and make both her plots and beliefs understandable. Willard won the Newbery Award for A Visit to William Blake's Inn, in 1982. Like many of her it expresses her views on life and uses "nonsense" poems to get across her "moral" messages. Her works are often full of allusions, "labyrinthine" plotting, and mix the ordinary and extraordinary, but she never loses her sense of perspective or audience.
Much of Willard's art is presently archived with the University of Michigan - Ann Arbor.
From the guide to the Nancy Willard Papers, 1945-1987, (University of Minnesota Libraries Children's Literature Research Collections [clrc])
|creatorOf||Nancy Willard Papers, 1945-1987||University of Minnesota Libraries Children's Literature Research Collections [clrc]|
|referencedIn||News and Information Services (University of Michigan) Faculty and Staff Files, 1944-2005, 1960-1995||Bentley Historical Library , University of Michigan|
|referencedIn||New Directions Publishing Corp. records, ca. 1933-1997.||Houghton Library.|
|referencedIn||Denise Levertov papers from the estate of Mitchell Goodman, circa 1952-1985||Cecil H. Green Library. Department of Special Collections and University Archives|
|referencedIn||Esquire, Inc. Records, 1933-1977||Bentley Historical Library , University of Michigan|
|referencedIn||American Review records, 1967-1977||Bentley Historical Library , University of Michigan|
|referencedIn||Brighton Press Archive, 1985 - 2001||University of California, San Diego. Geisel Library. Mandeville Special Collections Library.|
|referencedIn||Antioch Review mss., 1940-2007||Lilly Library (Indiana University, Bloomington)|
|associatedWith||Levertov, Denise, 1923-1997||person|
|associatedWith||New Directions Publishing Corp.||corporateBody|
|associatedWith||University of Michigan. News and Information Services.||corporateBody|
|Place Name||Admin Code||Country|