Snodgrass, W. D.

Snodgrass, W. D.

(William DeWitt Snodgrass), 1926–2009, American poet and translator, b. Wilkinsburg, Pa., grad. Univ. of Iowa, 1959. He is particularly known for his debut book, Heart's Needle (1959; Pulitzer Prize), a collection of poems about a father's love for his daughter. Snodgrass moved from early confessional poetry written in traditional styles to wider interests and freer formal treatments. His other volumes of poetry include The Remains (1970), Selected Poems: 1957–1987 (1987), The Death of Cock Robin (1989), and Each in His Season (1993). He published several translations from the German, notably of works by Christian Morgenstern; his Selected Translations was published in 1998. Snodgrass was also the author of Radical Pursuits (1974), a collection of literary critical essays. In 1977 he began The Führer Bunker: A Cycle of Poems in Progress, imagined dialogues for Nazi public figures, completing it in 1995 with The Führer Bunker: The Complete Cycle. Many of his later poems and a selection of his earlier verse were published in Not for Specialists (2006). Snodgrass taught at several universities.


See his After-Images: Autobiographical Sketches (1999) and To Sound like Yourself: Essays on Poetry (2002); W. D. Snodgrass in Conversation with Philip Hoy (1998); study by P. L. Gaston (1978); S. Haven, ed., The Poetry of W. D. Snodgrass (1993); P. Raisor, ed., Tuned and under Tension: The Recent Poetry of W. D. Snodgrass (1998).

Snodgrass, W. D. (William DeWitt) (S. S. Gardons, pen name)

(1926–  ) poet, writer; born in Wilkinsburg, Pa. He studied at Geneva College, Pa. (1943–44; 1946) and the University of Iowa (B.A. 1949; M.A. 1951; M.F.A. 1953). He taught at many institutions, notably the University of Delaware (1980). Based in Erieville, N.Y., he published translations, critical essays, and a play, but he is best known for his first volume of personal poetry, Heart's Needle (1959).