Booth, Philip 1925–2007

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Booth, Philip 1925–2007

(Philip Edmund Booth)


See index for CA sketch: Born October 8, 1925, in Hanover, NH; died of complications from Alzheimer's disease, July 2, 2007, in Hanover, NH. Poet, educator, and author. Booth's award-winning poetry is firmly grounded in the weathered landscape of New England, where he spent much of his life. He was a student of Robert Frost at Dartmouth College and taught at Dartmouth in New Hampshire, Bowdoin College in Maine, and Wellesley College in Massachusetts. Though he spent more than twenty years as a poet in residence and professor at Syracuse University in New York, he never strayed far from his native ground. He returned often to the family home in Castine, Maine, eventually moving there in the 1980s. According to his critics, Booth's poetry evokes the spare language and tidal rhythms of the rugged Maine coastline, and his themes resonate with the spirit of New England life in the distinctive voice of its native souls. Booth's poetry earned him several awards in his lifetime, including Guggenheim and National Endowment for the Arts fellowships and poetry awards from Poetry Northwest, Saturday Review, and Virginia Quarterly Review, but he never sought public recognition. Instead he spent much of his time in solitude, delving ever more deeply into his own thoughts. Booth's poetry collections, nearly a dozen in number, include The Islanders (1961) and Weathers and Edges (1966). He continued writing into his seventies, including the work in Pairs: New Poems (1994) and Lifelines: Selected Poems, 1950-1999. Booth also wrote a book of essays titled Trying to Say It: Outlooks and Insights on How Poems Happen (1996). Though he rarely made public appearances. a few of his readings were recorded by the Library of Congress in 1958 and 1965.



Los Angeles Times, July 12, 2007, p. B6.

New York Times, July 9, 2007, p. A17.