Paul Engle was an American poet, editor, teacher, literary critic, novelist and playwriter, He was born in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, to Thomas Allen, a livery stable owner, and Evelyn Engle, Paul Engle grew up in the Wellington Heights section of Cedar Rapids. He completed his graduaction from Washington High School and later attended Coe College, after he attended the University of Iowa, Columbia University, and Merton College, Oxford,As a student at Iowa, Engle was one of the earliest recipients of an advanced degree awarded for creative work: his first collection Worn Earth, which went on to win the Yale Series of Younger Poets. His second book, American Song (1934), was given a rave front-page review in the New York Times Book Review and was even, briefly, a bestseller. From 1954 to 1959, Engle served as series editor for the O. Henry Prize.
He is remembered as the long-time director of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and as co-founder of the International Writing Program (IWP), both at the University of Iowa.
Paul Engle Poetry
- Worn Earth, Yale University Press, 1932.
- American Song, Doubleday, 1934, reprinted, AMS Press, 1979.
- Break the Heart’s Anger, Doubleday, 1936.
- Corn, Doubleday, 1939.
- New Englanders, Prairie Press (Muscatine, IA), 1940.
- West of Midnight, Random House, 1941.
- American Child: A Sonnet Sequence, Random House, 1945
- revised and enlarged edition published as American Child: Sonnets for My Daughter, Dial, 1956.
- The Word of Love, Random House, 1951.
- Book and Child: Three Sonnets, Cummington Press (Iowa City, IA), 1956.
- Poems in Praise, Random House, 1959.
- Christmas Poems, privately printed, 1962.
- A Woman Unashamed and Other Poems, Random House, 1965.
- Embrace: Selected Love Poems’, Random House, 1969.
- Images of China: Poems Written in China, April–June, 1980, preface by Hualing Nieh, New World Press (Beijing), 1981.
Paul Engle Prize
Paul Engle Prize is an Annual prize from the Iowa City UNESCO City of Literature honors an individual who, like Paul Engle, represents a pioneering spirit in the world of literature through writing, editing, publishing, or teaching, and whose active participation in the larger issues of the day has contributed to the betterment of the world through the literary arts. The Paul Engle Prize is made possible through the generous support of the City of Coralville, which is home to 11 permanent sculptures with artistic and literary ties to Iowa. The sculptures all have ties to work found in The Iowa Writers’ Library, housed in the Coralville Marriott, which features about 800 books written by former students, graduates and faculty of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop.
Representative of Paul Engle Prize
- 2020 Paul Engle Prize – Eve. L Ewing and Dr. Ewing
- 2019 Paul Engle Prize – Toi Derricotte and Cornelius Eady
- 2018 Paul Engle Prize – Dina Nayeri
- 2017 Paul Engle Prize – Alexander Chee
- 2016 Paul Engle Prize – Roxane Gay
- 2015 Paul Engle Prize- Sara Paretsky
- 2014 Paul Engle Prize- Luis Alberto Urrea
- 2013 Paul Engle Prize – Kwame Dawas
- 2011 Paul Engle Prize – James Alan McPherson
Paul Engle Inspirational & Motivational Quotes
- Poetry is ordinary language raised to the Nth power. Poetry is boned with ideas, nerved and blooded with emotions, all held together by the delicate, tough skin of words. – Paul Engle
- The sharpest memory of our old-fashioned Christmas eve is my mother’s hand making sure I was settled in bed. – Paul Engle
- I wanted to write poetry almost a little more than I wanted to eat. – Paul Engle
- Soldiers of the American Revolution fought that 18th century war with heavy muskets. In the early 20th century, we kids fought it every Fourth of July not only with exploding powder and shimmering flares, but with all of our senses. – Paul Engle
- Wisdom is knowing when you can’t be wise. – Paul Engle
- I have published in ‘The New Yorker,’ ‘Holiday,’ ‘Life,’ ‘Mademoiselle,’ ‘American Heritage,’ ‘Horizon,’ ‘The Ladies Home Journal,’ ‘The Kenyon Review,’ ‘The Sewanee Review,’ ‘Poetry,’ ‘Botteghe Oscure,’ the ‘Atlantic Monthly,’ ‘Harper’s.’ – Paul Engle
- Every Christmas should begin with the sound of bells, and when I was a child mine always did. But they were sleigh bells, not church bells, for we lived in a part of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, where there were no churches. – Paul Engle
- I began to write poetry in high school, and would ride miles over sandy roads in the fine hills around Cedar Rapids, repeating the lines over and over until I had them right, making some of the rhythm of the horse help. – Paul Engle
- A barn with cattle and horses is the place to begin Christmas; after all, that’s where the original event happened, and that same smell was the first air that the Christ Child breathed. – Paul Engle
- When your first marriage goes into tragedy, you become very battle-scarred… I even thought of suicide. Luckily, I had known some happy marriages. – Paul Engle
- All families had their special Christmas food. Ours was called Dutch Bread, made from a dough halfway between bread and cake, stuffed with citron and every sort of nut from the farm – hazel, black walnut, hickory, butternut. – Paul Engle.