Winters, Yvor, 1900–1968, American poet and critic, b. Chicago, educated at the Univ. of Chicago, Univ. of Colorado (M.A., 1925), and Stanford (Ph.D., 1934). From 1928 until his death he was a member of the English department of Stanford. His controversial criticism was based on the thesis that a work of art should be “an act of moral judgment.” In Defense of Reason (1947), his major critical work, is a collection of three earlier studies—Primitivism and Decadence (1937), Maule's Curse (1938), and The Anatomy of Nonsense (1943). His poetry, ranging in mood from the austere to the lyrical, appears in Collected Poems (1952) and The Early Poems of Yvor Winters (1966).
See his Forms of Discovery: Critical and Historical Essays on the Forms of the Short Poem in English (1967) and The Uncollected Essays and Reviews of Yvor Winters (1973).
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Winters, (Arthur) Yvor(1900–68) poet, literary critic; born in Chicago. He taught at Stanford University (1928–66), where he received his Ph.D. (1934). In the 1930s he began writing literary criticism; later works include In Defense of Reason (1947) and The Function of Criticism (1957). He won the Bollingen Prize (1961) for his taut, formalistic poetry. A controversial critic, he attacked popular literary icons ranging from Walt Whitman to Henry James.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.