Howard Nemerov was born in 1920 in New York City and received his bachelor’s degree from Harvard University in 1941. After leaving Harvard, he joined the Royal Canadian unit of the U.S. Army Air Force and served as a pilot over the North Sea throughout World War II. After the war, Nemerov and his wife moved to New York City, where he finished his first volume of poetry, The Image and the Law, which garnered him much critical attention and admiration. In addition to his many volumes of poetry, Nemerov wrote novels, short stories, plays, and essays, thereby establishing his reputation as a versatile writer talented in many genres. From 1946 to 1951, Nemerov was associate editor of the literary magazine Furioso, which allowed him to create a substantial body of literary criticism. In 1946 Nemerov also began teaching, first at Hamilton College, then at Bennington College and Brandeis University. In 1969 he became a professor and Distinguished Poet in Residence at Washington University in St. Louis, a position he held until his death in 1991. Nemerov served as poetry consultant to the Library of Congress in 1963 and 1964, and in 1977 he was inducted into the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters. The following year, his Collected Poems won both the National Book Award and the Pulitzer Prize. In 1988 he was named poet laureate of the United States.
The Furioso archive is housed at the Beinecke Library; for a detailed description of the collection visit the Guide to the Furioso Papers. Selected materials from the archive can be seen online in the Beinecke’s Digital Library: Furioso Papers. Additional related resources in Beinecke Library collections may be found in Orbis and the Finding Aid Database.