Alan Dugan (February 12, 1923 – September 3, 2003), American poet who wrote with bemused sarcasm about mundane topics, infusing them with irony. A fully developed style is evident in his first verse collection, Poems (1961), which in 1962 won a National Book Award and a Pulitzer Prize.
Dugan grew up in Jamaica, Queens, and served in World War II, experiences which entered his poetry, though he was not a confessional poet. He lived in Truro, Massachusetts on Cape Cod, where he was a member of the Writing Committee of the Fine Arts Work Center.
Dugan's work was published in successive numbered collections under the simple title Poems.
Alan Dugan was married to the artist Judith Shahn, to whom he dedicated each of his books. He died on September 3, 2003, of pneumonia at age 80.
Dugan received many awards and fellowships for his poetry.
- Poems (1961): Yale Series of Younger Poets, National Book Award for Poetry, Pulitzer Prize for Poetry.
- Poems Seven: New and Complete Poetry (2001): National Book Award.
- Awarded the Prix De Rome by the National Institute of Arts and Letters (1962)
- The Shelley Memorial Award: Poetry Society of America (1982)
- The Award in Literature: American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters (1985)
- Awarded the Lannan Literary Award for Poetry in 2002.
- Poems (1961)
- Poems 2 (1963)
- Poems 3 (1967)
- Poems 4 (1974)
- Poems Five: New and Collected Poems (1983)
- Poems Six (1989)
- Poems Seven: New and Complete Poetry (2001)
National Book Awards
National Book Awards, annual awards given to books of the highest quality written by Americans and published by American publishers. The awards were founded in 1950 by the American Book Publishers Council, American Booksellers Association, and Book Manufacturers Institute. From 1976 to 1979 they were administered by the National Book Committee. In 1980 they were renamed the American Book Awards and were conferred by the American Booksellers Association. Seven years later the awards were again called the National Book Awards, and they were thereafter granted by the National Book Foundation.
The process begins when publishers submit selected books to compete in several categories, chiefly fiction, nonfiction, and poetry. Winners are chosen by five-member panels selected for each genre; they receive a $10,000 cash award and a crystal sculpture. Awards are also intermittently given for children’s literature, autobiography, first novel, and other categories. Past winners include William Carlos Williams, Bruce Catton, Theodore Roethke, Katherine Anne Porter, Edward Seidensticker, Flannery O’Connor, Lewis Thomas, and Madeleine L’Engle.