John Malcolm Brinnin (September 13, 1916- June 25, 1999) was an American poet and literary critic. Brinnin was born in Halifax Nova Scotia to two United States citizens.
When still a boy, Brinnin's parents moved to Detroit, Michigan. Brinnin went to the University of Michigan for his undergraduate studies where he won three Hopwood Awards in 1938, 1939 and 1940. He worked his way through school in an Ann Arbor book store. During part of this time (1936-1938), Brinnin served as the editor of the journal Signatures. Graduating from Michigan in 1942, Brinnin went to Harvard University for graduate work.
From 1949-1956, Brinnin was Director of the Young Men's and Young Women's Hebrew Association Poetry Center (the so-called 92nd Street Y) . While there, he raised the 92nd Street Y to national attention as a focal point of poetry in the United States. Brinnin, for example, was the first person to bring Dylan Thomas to the United States. Brinnin's Dylan Thomas in America (1955) describes much of his attempt to befriend help the troubled Welsh poet.
In addition to his work on Thomas, Brinnin published six volumes of his own poetry. Brinnin also wrote scholarly works on T.S. Eliot, Gertrude Stein, Truman Capote, and William Carlos Williams, He also published three personal travelogues.
Brinnin taught in a number of universities over his career. At various times, he gave courses at Vassar, Boston University, the University of Connecticut, and Harvard University.
Brinnin died in Key West, Florida on June 25, 1999. His papers were left to the University of Delaware.
'Works on Literary Figures'