Stephen Dunn, Pulitzer Prize-winning poet, 1939–2021

June 25, 2021


Stephen Dunn, Pulitzer Prize-winning poet and educator, passed away at his home in Frostburg, Maryland, on Thursday, June 24, his eighty-second birthday, according to the New York Times. Dunn, who served as the judge for AWP’s 2003 Donald Hall Prize, was noted for work that embraced the dignity and humor of everyday life.

Dunn was the acclaimed author of fifteen poetry collections, including Different Hours, which won the Pulitzer Prize in 2001; Local Visitations; Looking for holes in the ceiling; Here and Now; and Lines of Defense. His nonfiction work included Walking Light: Memoirs and Essays on Poetry. His final book, The Not Yet Fallen World, will be published posthumously in 2022.

Dunn received an Academy Award in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, three National Endowment for the Arts Creative Writing Fellowships, a Guggenheim Fellowship, and a Rockefeller Foundations Fellowship, among many other awards. His book Local Time was the 1986 National Poetry Series winner.

Dunn’s teaching career at Stockton University spanned three decades. He was also a visiting professor at the University of Washington, NYU, Columbia, and the University of Michigan.

AWP joins the literary community in mourning his death.

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