Poet, teacher, and critic, Yvor Winters was a man of letters in more ways than one. This selection of his personal correspondence spans half a century of literary history and a lifetime of intellectual development and growth. As a record of a serious artist and thinker's grappling with important issues and, sometimes, with his notable friends, the letters offer new and often unexpected insight into the creative mind at work.
The reader who comes to these letters with the standard-issue caricature of Yvor Winters- cantankerous, dogmatic, Calvinistic- will not be disappointed. Like all caricatures, this one contains partial truth, but partial truth is ultimately more destructive than an outright lie. What these letters portray clearly is a complex individual: he can be cantankerous and dogmatic (he was never Calvinistic) but he is also generous in the extreme, egalitarian, sensitive, noble, and downright funny.
Rich with Winters's personal impressions and honest appraisals and addressed to a panoply of poets, writers, and editors, including Marianne Moore, Allen Tate, Lincoln Kirstein, Louise Bogan, and Katherine Anne Porter among many others, The Selected Letters of Yvor Winters offers that unique glimpse of a writer of stature in private conversation with his peers.