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Valentines to the Wide World
Mona Van Duyn (1921- 2004)
Iowa City: Cummington Press, 1958
First edition
PS3543 A563 V3 1958

Born in Waterloo, Iowa, Mona Van Duyn grew up in the small town of Eldora, Iowa (pop. 3,200) where she read voraciously and secretly wrote poems in her school notebooks from grade school to high school. In a 1991 interview she recalled a typical punishment in small town Iowa grade school: “One was made to stay after school and learn a poem.”

Ouch! Van Duyn earned a B.A. from Northern Iowa University in 1942, and an M.A. from the University of Iowa in 1943, the year she married Jarvis Thurston. In 1946 she was hired as an instructor at the University of Louisville when her husband became an assistant professor there. Together they began Perspective: A Quarterly of Literature in 1947 and continued it at Washington University in St. Louis when they moved there in 1950. Van Duyn lectured in the University College adult education program until her retirement in 1990. In 1983, a year after she had published her fifth book of poems, she was named an adjunct Professor in the English Department and became the “Visiting Hurst Professor” in 1987, the year she was invited to be a member of the National Institute of Arts and Letters. She was awarded numerous national prizes, awards, and fellowships.  She served as the first female Poet Laureate of the United States.

Printed by Raeburn Miller, K. Kimer Merker, and Harry Duncan with Romanee and Lutetia Italic typefaces on Curtis Rag paper. Edition of one hundred and eighty copies. University of Utah copy is no. 18.