Mark Van Doren

Mark Van Doren books and biography

Mark Van Doren

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Mark Van Doren (June 13, 1894 – December 10, 1972) was a Pulitzer Prize-winning poet and critic. He was born in the town of Hope in Vermilion County, Illinois. The son of the county's doctor, he was raised on his family's farm in eastern Illinois. He was the younger brother of the academic Carl Van Doren. Mark Van Doren earned a B.A. from the University of Illinois in 1914 and a Ph.D. from Columbia University in 1920.

Van Doren then taught at Columbia from 1920 to 1959 and twice served on the staff of The Nation. His students at Columbia included the poets John Berryman and Allen Ginsberg, the Japanologist and interpreter of Japanese literature Donald Keene, author and activist Whittaker Chambers, as well as writer and Trappist monk Thomas Merton. Van Doren helped Ginsberg avoid jail time in June 1949 by testifying on his behalf when Ginsberg was arrested as an accessory to crimes carried out by Herbert Huncke and others.

Mark Van Doren married the novelist Dorothy Graffe Van Doren in 1922. Their son, Charles Van Doren (born February 12, 1926), briefly achieved renown as the winner of the rigged game show, Twenty-One. In the film Quiz Show, Mark Van Doren was played by Paul Scofield, who earned an Academy Award nomination for his performance.

Mark Van Doren died in Torrington, Connecticut, aged 78.


Wikisource has original works written by or about:
Mark Van Doren


  • Spring Thunder (1924)
  • Jonathan Gentry (1931)
  • Winter Diary (1935)
  • Collected Poems 1922-1938 (1939), Winner of the 1940 Pulitzer Prize for Poetry
  • The Mayfield Deer (1941)
  • The Last Days of Lincoln (1959)
  • Our Lady Peace
  • The Story-Teller (N/A)


  • The Transients (1935)
  • Windless Cabins (1940)
  • Tilda (1943)


  • The Poetry of John Dryden (1920)
  • Introduction to Bartram's Travels
  • American and British Literature Since 1890 (1939), with Carl Van Doren
  • Shakespeare (1939)
  • The Liberal Education (1943)
  • The Noble Voice (1946)
  • Nathaniel Hawthorne (1949)
  • Introduction to Poetry (1951)
  • The Happy Critic (1961)

This article might use material from a Wikipedia article, which is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.

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American Poets

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John Dryden A Study Of His Poetry

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