Richard Ghormley Eberhart (April 5, 1904 – June 9, 2005) was an American poet who published more than a dozen books of poetry and approximately twenty works in total. He won the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry for Selected Poems, 1930-1965 and the 1977 National Book Award for Poetry for Collected Poems, 1930-1976.
Eberhart was born in 1904 in Austin, Minnesota. He began college at the University of Minnesota, but following his mother's death from cancer in 1921—the event that prompted him to begin writing poetry—he transferred to Dartmouth College. After graduation he worked as a ship's hand, among other jobs, then studied at St. John's College, Cambridge, where I.A. Richards encouraged him to continue writing poetry, and where he took a further degree. After serving as private tutor to the son of King Prajadhipok of Siam in 1931-1932, Eberhart pursued graduate study for a year at Harvard University.
His first book of poetry A Bravery of Earth was published in London in 1930. It reflected his experiences in Cambridge and his experience as a ship's hand. Reading the Spirit published in 1937 contains one of his best known poems "The Groundhog.” He taught for eight years at the St. Mark's School (1933–1941), where Robert Lowell was one of his students. In 1941 he married Helen Butcher.
After the World War II, Eberhart worked for six years for his wife's family's floor wax company, the Butcher Polish Company. Burr Oaks was his first work published after the war in 1947 followed by Brotherhood of Men in 1949. In 1950, he was a founder of the Poets' Theatre in Cambridge, Massachusetts. From the early 1950s until his retirement he dedicated himself to writing poems and teaching at institutions of higher education, including the University of Washington, Brown University, Swarthmore College, Tufts University, Trinity College, University of Connecticut, Columbia University, University of Cincinnati, Wheaton College, Princeton University and Dartmouth College. He taught for 30 years at Dartmouth as professor of English and poet-in-residence, where he was known for his encouragement of young poets.
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Accession number 1002. Originally laid in Burr Oaks by Eberhart. PS3509 B456 B9 1947. (To Wolin, Ron)
Accession number 1048. Originally laid in Song and Idea by Eberhart. PS3509 B456 S6 1940. (To Smith, Israel)
Accession number 1184. Purchased from Henry Wenning. (To Hamilton, Ian)
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