Yvor Winters (1900–1968) By Joines, Rick
Arthur Yvor Winters was an iconoclast who valued tradition; a poetic experimentalist who became increasingly committed to inherited poetic forms; a critic committed to rationality whose judgments struck many as wildly eccentric; and a cultivator of faithful but sometimes rebellious disciples. His early poetry is significant for incorporating elements of Native American poetics; his later poetry for its formalist restraint and neo-classical refinement. In 1960, his Collected Poems won the prestigious Bollingen Prize. Born in Chicago, Winters grew up in Eagle Rock, near Los Angeles, California. He attended the University of Chicago where he met his future wife, poet and novelist Janet Lewis. Tuberculosis cut short his studies, and he was sent to a sanatorium in Santa Fe, New Mexico.