Benét, Stephen Vincent

Benét, Stephen Vincent

(bĕnā`), 1898–1943, American poet and author, b. Bethlehem, Pa., grad. Yale, 1919; brother of William Rose Benét. After graduating from college, Benét published several volumes of verse, including A Ballad of William Sycamore (1923), and several novels, of which Jean Huguenot (1923) and The Spanish Bayonet (1926) are the best. He is most famous for John Brown's Body (1928), a long narrative poem of the Civil War (Pulitzer Prize, 1929), and his short story, "The Devil and Daniel Webster." Western Star, a long narrative poem about the westward migration left unfinished at his death, was published in 1943 (Pulitzer Prize, 1944).

Bibliography

See his selected works (2 vol., 1942); letters, ed. by C. A. Fenton (1960); studies by C. A. Fenton (1978) and W. R. Benét (1979).

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Benét, Stephen Vincent

(1898–1943) poet, writer; born in Bethlehem, Pa. He graduated from Yale (B.A. 1919; M.A. 1920), traveled to France (1926), wrote screen plays in Hollywood, Calif., (1929), and settled in New York City, where he tried to balance his serious writing with necessary hackwork. During World War II he wrote for the Office of War Information. He is known for his poetry, such as the long narrative, John Brown's Body (1938), and a short story, "The Devil and Daniel Webster" (1937).
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.