"Nelson contemplates the chasm separating poetry and journalism . . . in the insightful study."—Publishers Weekly
This edifying volume presents mini-biographies of key British and American poets who at one time or another worked as journalists. Poets covered range from the famous to the obscure: Whittier to Whitman, Kipling to Bryant, Coleridge to Crane. Writing in a direct, straightforward style W. Dale Nelson tells each writer’s story, often relating how the poet in question felt about the journalistic experience and its impact upon creative work. Archbold MacLeish wrote “young poets are advised by their elders to avoid the practice of journalism as they would set socks and gin before breakfast.” On the other hand, Leonard Woolf suggests that Hemingway’s strong spare prose often “bears the mark of good journalism.”
The author raises provocative issues about developments in poetic form, effects of printing and communication on poetry, and the relationship of poetry and cities. He also looks at how poetic diction has been influenced by the language of reportage and the basic difference in the purport of journalism versus that of poetry.
W. Dale Nelson spent forty years as a reporter with the Associated Press. During twenty years in Washington, he won the Aldo Beckman Award for excellence in reporting about the presidency. His poetry has appeared in general and literary magazines in the United States, Canada, England, and Australia. Nelson is the author of The President is at Camp David and Who Speaks for the President?, both published by Syracuse University Press.
6 x 9, 262 pages, 13 black and white illustrations