David Ignatow

Born: 1914

David Ignatow is remembered as a poet who wrote popular verse about the common man and the issues encountered in daily life. In all, he wrote or edited more than 25 books and was the recipient of numerous awards, including the Poetry Society of America’s Shelley Memorial Prize and Robert Frost Medal, the Bollingen Prize, and the John Steinbeck Award. Early in his career he worked in a butcher shop. He also helped out in a bindery in Brooklyn, New York, which he later owned and managed. During the Great Depression in the 1930s, he sought employment with the Works Progress Administration (WPA) as a journalist. His father helped him with the funding to produce his first book, Poems, in 1948. Although the volume was well received, he had to continue working various jobs and find time in between to pursue writing. These jobs included work as a messenger, hospital admitting clerk, vegetable market night clerk, and paper salesman. Source