Berryman, John

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Berryman, John

(bĕr`ēmən), 1914–72, American poet and critic, b. McAlester, Okla., as John Allyn Smith, Jr., grad. Columbia, 1936, also studied at Cambridge. His father committed suicide when he was 12; he took his stepfather's name when his mother subsequently remarried. From 1955 until his death he was on the faculty of the Univ. of Minnesota. Although he had published several volumes of poetry and a highly regarded biography of Stephen CraneCrane, Stephen,
1871–1900, American novelist, poet, and short-story writer, b. Newark, N.J. Often designated the first modern American writer, Crane is ranked among the authors who introduced realism into American literature.
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 (1950), his literary reputation was not established until the appearance of Homage to Mistress Bradstreet (1956), a long dialogue in verse between Berryman and the ghost of Anne BradstreetBradstreet, Anne (Dudley),
c.1612–1672, early American poet, b. Northampton, England, considered the first significant woman author in the American colonies. She came to Massachusetts in the Winthrop Puritan group in 1630 with her father, Thomas Dudley, and her husband,
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. The volumes 77 Dream Songs (1964; Pulitzer Prize) and His Toy, His Dream, His Rest (1968) can be considered a two-part novel in verse in which the main character is a middle-aged teacher and lover named Henry, who is the voice of an anguished and trivial age. The Dream Songs (1969) brings together both books. Berryman committed suicide in 1972. Delusions, Etc. (1972), a volume of poems, and Recovery (1973), a novel, were published posthumously; in both the poet examines himself and his life—as it slips away—in intimate and harrowing detail. Berryman's other volumes of poetry include Poems (1942), The Dispossessed (1948), Berryman's Sonnets (1967), and Love and Fame (1971).


See selected poems ed. by K. Young (2004) and selected letters ed. by P. Coleman and C. McRae (2020); biographies by J. Haffenden (1982) and P. Mariani (2016); study by J. M. Linebarger (1974) and P. Mariani (1999).

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Berryman, John (McAlpin)

(1914–72) poet, writer, teacher; born in McAlester, Okla. He studied at Columbia University (B.A. 1936), at Cambridge, England (B.A. 1938), and taught at various institutions, mainly the University of Minnesota (1954–72). He is known for his almost agonizing self-revealing poetry, as in Dream Songs (collected; 1969). He committed suicide in Minneapolis, Minn., and his novel, Recovery (1973), appeared posthumously.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.
References in periodicals archive ?
He modestly claims to be a poet who is only "moonlighting" as an essayist, but he engages astutely with the interplay of language, life, death and the variously troubled public sphere on both sides of the Irish border and elsewhere, following his writers across the world from the "H-block" prison of the poetry-reading hunger-striker Bobby Sands to John Berryman's America or Basho's seventeenth-century Japan, reaching back past Yeats and Joyce to Oliver Goldsmith.
The owners of the fields -- developer Oxted Residential and farmer John Berryman -- had both opposed the change, saying the land was clearly private and trespassers had regularly been told as much.
Ask John Berryman who jumped to his end, but before?
She graduated from Harvard and attended the Iowa Writers' Workshop, where she passed her days "reading dead drunk poets and my nights trying to sleep with live ones." Her role models were the "iconic drunk writers"--John Cheever, John Berryman, Raymond Carver, Denis Johnson--who had also spent time at the workshop and whose drinking she romanticized as "proof of extreme interior weather: volatile and authentic." She drank, in part, to overcome sometimes debilitating self-doubt, and she found in the bottle the courage to explore, often to disastrous effect.
DELMORE SCHWARTZ, RANDALL JARRELL, Sylvia Plath, Robert Lowell, and John Berryman, all of whom died more than 40 years ago, remain the most famous American poets born in the 20th century.
In sympathetic profiles of authors like Raymond Carver, David Foster Wallace and Denis Johnson, which are gracefully woven into her own narrative, Jamison provides "models who found sobriety and recovery incredibly generative." Many of the creatives that Jamison profiles experienced more nuanced addiction narratives than the one in which, as she says, "sobriety swoops in and is a creative fairy godmother and gives you a new creative life." In writing about the tragic career of poet John Berryman, whose agonizing and embarrassingly public battle with alcoholism ended with a leap from a Minneapolis bridge in 1972, she describes a man who wrestled with an unfinished novel about recovery while trying and failing to stay sober.
Using examples from the work of poets such as George Herbert, Robert Frost, John Berryman and Lucile Clifton, she will examine how a calling to language in poetic form can both strengthen or poison a life.
In the generational race for fame, he had a big head start on his contemporaries, poets like John Berryman and Robert Lowell and novelists like Saul Bellow.
John Berryman was attracted to Bruegel's Hunters in the Snow, which inspired his poem Winter Landscape.
So, before we turn to John Berryman, who, in my view, assimilates
Here Australian and British scholars of English literature explore how American poets Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-82) and John Berryman (1914-75), and American novelists Herman Melville (1819-91) and Henry James (1843-1916), in their different ways, brought a distinctly New World perspective to Shakespeare.
Think of Randall Jarrell stepping in front of an automobile on a dark country road; Robert Lowell's frequent visits to McLean, the psychiatric hospital outside Boston; or John Berryman jumping off the Washington Avenue Bridge in Minneapolis.