Thursday, February 7, 2008
Happy Birthday Sinclair Lewis
Today is also the birthday of Sinclair Lewis, born in Sauk Centre, Minnesota, in 1885. Lewis is known for his novels Main Street, Babbitt, Elmer Gantry and It Can't Happen Here, and was America's first Nobel Prize winner in literature. He was recommended for the 1921 Pulitzer Prize for Main Street, but the trustees of the prize awarded it to Edith Wharton for The Age of Innocence instead. A few years later, Lewis turned down the Pulitzer for his novel Arrowsmith. I visited Sauk Centre a few years ago. I had a peak at Lewis's boyhood home, had a beer at the Palmer House Hotel (where Lewis was fired from his first job), and stayed in the Gopher Prairie Motel. An account of that visit went into my essay "Sinclair Lewis's Work of Art," published in the New England Review in 2004 (volume 25, number 3). For an excellent biography of Sinclair Lewis, check out Richard Lingeman's Sinclair Lewis: Rebel from Main Street.
My poem " Phrasebook " has been published online in Ergon: Greek/American Arts and Letters .
Here's the poem I wrote and read for the student-organized International Day of Peace gathering in Bridge Square on Wednesday, Septembe...
The frontispiece from Countee Cullen's The Black Christ and Other Poems (1929). Illustration by Charles Cullen. Click to enlarge. On...
Two of my very brief essays were published online this summer. The first was the essay " Telephone ," which appeared in June in t...