15 Facts About Richard Wilbur


Richard Purdy Wilbur was an American poet and literary translator.


Richard Wilbur was appointed the second Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress in 1987 and received the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry twice, in 1957 and 1989.


Richard Wilbur was born in New York City on March 1,1921, and grew up in North Caldwell, New Jersey.


Richard Wilbur taught at Wellesley College, then Wesleyan University for two decades and at Smith College for another decade.


Richard Wilbur received two Pulitzer Prizes for Poetry and taught at Amherst College as late as 2009, where he served on the editorial board of the literary magazine The Common.


When only eight years old, Richard Wilbur published his first poem in John Martin's Magazine.


Richard Wilbur was a translator, specializing in the 17th century French comedies of Moliere and dramas of Jean Racine.


Richard Wilbur published several children's books, including Opposites, More Opposites, and The Disappearing Alphabet.


Richard Wilbur provided lyrics to several songs in Leonard Bernstein's 1956 musical Candide, including the famous "Glitter and Be Gay" and "Make Our Garden Grow".


Richard Wilbur produced several unpublished works, including "The Wing" and "To Beatrice".


Richard Wilbur's honors included the 1983 Drama Desk Special Award and the PEN Translation Prize for his translation of The Misanthrope, the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry and the National Book Award for Things of This World, the Edna St Vincent Millay award, the Bollingen Prize, and the Chevalier, Ordre des Palmes Academiques.


Richard Wilbur was elected a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1959.


In 1987 Richard Wilbur became the second poet, after Robert Penn Warren, to be named US Poet Laureate after the position's title was changed from Poetry Consultant.


In 2003 Richard Wilbur was inducted into the American Theater Hall of Fame.


Richard Wilbur died on October 14,2017, at a nursing home in Belmont, Massachusetts, from natural causes aged 96.