John Hall Wheelock
John Hall Wheelock was born in 1886 in Far Rockaway in the borough of Queens, New York. His writing career was one of the longest in American letters, beginning with the publication of his first book in 1905 and ending with his last book, published in 1978, also the year of his death. Wheelock wrote his first book of poetry, Verses by Two Undergraduates (1905), with Van Wyck Brooks while the two were students at Harvard. It sold poorly and received no critical notice; however, his second book, The Human Fantasy (1911), brought him recognition and renown as a talented poet when he was still just twenty-five. Around the same time, Wheelock began working for Charles Scribner’s Sons. His career with them would last until 1957, as he worked his way from clerk to senior editor. During his tenure at Scribner’s, Wheelock both helped solidify the firm’s reputation as a publisher of innovative modern prose and developed the Poets of Today series, which launched the careers of twenty-four poets. After retiring from Scribner’s, Wheelock was able to devote more time to his own poetry. He won the Bollingen Prize for Poetry in 1962, which he shared with Richard Eberhart, and in 1972 was awarded the Gold Medal of the Poetry Society of America. He died in 1978.