William Bronk

William Bronk
Born (1918-02-17)17 February 1918
Fort Edward, New York
Died 22 February 1999(1999-02-22) (aged 81)
Hudson Falls, New York
Occupation Poet
Nationality American
Genre Poetry, Essay
Notable awards National Book Award

William Bronk (February 17, 1918 – February 22, 1999) was an American poet. For the 1981 collection Life Supports he won the National Book Award for Poetry.[1]

Life and work

William Bronk was born in a house on Lower Main Street in Fort Edward, New York. He had an older brother, Sherman, who died young and two older sisters, Jane and Betty. William attended Dartmouth College, arriving there at the age of 16, and after graduation spent one semester at Harvard.

Bronk served in World War II first as a draftee but later, after attending OCS, as an officer. He was discharged from the Army in October 1945 and started teaching English at Union College, Schenectady, New York. He left Union in June 1946 and returned to Hudson Falls. There, during the later half of 1946, he completed work on The Brother in Elysium. In January 1947 Bronk took over management of the Bronk Coal and Lumber Company which he had inherited when his father died unexpectedly in 1941.

After his one semester of graduate school at Harvard, Bronk “decided I couldn't take any more of that.” He taught English at Union College. After his father died in 1941, he decided to return to the family business temporarily. He ended up staying more than 30 years. He retired from the business in 1978.

Bronk said that the poems were created in his mind as he went through the business of the day. When one was ready, he put it on paper, working in longhand rather than at a typewriter. As his manuscripts attest, he seldom rewrote, or even modified, a poem once written on paper.

William Bronk died Monday, February 22, 1999.[2]

Selected bibliography



  1. 1 2 "National Book Awards – 1982". National Book Foundation. Retrieved 2012-04-07.
    (With essay by Scott Challener from the Awards 60-year anniversary blog.)
  2. "William Bronk Biography". Famouspoetsandpoems.com. Retrieved 2012-06-10.
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