Alan Dugan (1923 - 2003)

Alan Dugan (1923-2003) was an American poet. His poetry is known for its plain and direct language, though it is supported by technical skill; it is generally trenchant and ironic in its criticism of American life and received ideas, and in its frank sensuality alike. Dugan received many awards for his poetry.

Dugan grew up in Jamaica, Queens in New York City and served in World War II, experiences which entered his poetry though he avoided simple autobiography or confession. He later lived in Truro on Cape Cod in Massachusetts, where he directed the Fine Arts Work Center and was a mentor and teacher to younger poets for decades.

Dugan’s work was published in successive numbered collections under the simple title Poems. His first book, Poems (1961), was chosen for the Yale Series of Younger Poets, won a National Book Award, and was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry. Then followed the collections Poems 2 (1963), Poems 3 (1967), Poems 4 (1974), Poems Five: New and Collected Poems (1983), Poems Six (1989), and Poems Seven: New and Complete Poetry (2001), which won Dugan a second National Book Award.