Yvor Winters

(2530 words)

Arthur Yvor Winters (b Chicago, 1900, d. Palo Alto, 1968) is probably best known for his influence over a number of younger poets, but in his time he was well known both as a poet himself and as a controversial, even cantankerous, critic. As professor of English at Stanford University for more than thirty years, he helped launch the careers of Thom Gunn, Philip Levine, J.V. Cunningham, Edgar Bowers, N. Scott Momaday, Donald Hall, Catherine Davis, Donald Justice, Alan Stephens, James McMichael and Robert Pinsky. He taught them to judge poetry by exacting standards: a poem is nothing less than “a method for perfecting the understanding and moral discrimination”. It can do that because, as Winters defines the poem, it is

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Forsyth, Neil. "Yvor Winters". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 26 February 2015
[http://www.litencyc.com/php/speople.php?rec=true&UID=4763, accessed 28 November 2015.]

Articles on Winters' works

  1. "Before Disaster"
  2. “The Slow Pacific Swell”