Yvor Winters (2434 words)

Neil Forsyth (Université de Lausanne)
Download PDF Save to Bookshelf Tweet Report an Error


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


Citation: Forsyth, Neil. "Yvor Winters". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 26 February 2015 [https://www.litencyc.com/php/speople.php?rec=true&UID=4763, accessed 26 September 2022.]

4763 Yvor Winters 1 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

Save this article

If you need to create a new bookshelf to save this article in, please make sure that you are logged in, then go to your 'Account' here

Leave Feedback

The Literary Encyclopedia is a living community of scholars. We welcome comments which will help us improve.