Jack Gilbert

Jack Gilbert (February 18, 1925 – November 13, 2012) was an American poet.[1]

Early life and education

Born and raised in the Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania neighborhood of East Liberty,[2] he attended Peabody High School before failing out. Gilbert then worked as a door-to-door salesman, an exterminator, and a steelworker. Due to a clerical error, he was admitted to the University of Pittsburgh and graduated in 1954. During these college years he and his classmate Gerald Stern developed a serious interest in poetry and writing. Later, he received his master's degree from San Francisco State University in 1963.[1]


After college, Gilbert went to Paris and worked briefly at the Herald Tribune before moving to Italy. Gilbert spent several years there before moving to San Francisco and then to New York, where his life as a poet began.

His work has been distinguished by simple lyricism and straightforward clarity of tone, as well as a resonating control over his emotions: “We look up at the stars and they are / not there. We see memory / of when they were, once upon a time. / And that too is more than enough.” His first book of poetry, Views of Jeopardy, (1962) won the Yale Younger Poets Prize and was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize,[1] and Gilbert was quickly recognized.[3]

He then retreated from his earlier activity in the San Francisco poetry scene, where he had participated in Jack Spicer's Poetry as Magic workshop,[2] and moved to Europe. Living on a Guggenheim Fellowship[4] he toured 15 countries as a lecturer on American Literature for the U.S. State Department and lived in England, Denmark, and Greece.[2] Nearly the whole of his career after the publication of his first book of poetry was marked by what he described as "a self-imposed isolation."[4]

His books of poetry were few and far between; however he continuously maintained his writing and contributed to The American Poetry Review, Genesis West, The Quarterly, Poetry, Ironwood, The Kenyon Review, and The New Yorker. Gilbert was the 1999-2000 Grace Hazard Conkling writer-in-residence at Smith College.[5]

Gilbert was also a visiting professor and writer-in-residence at the University of Tennessee in 2004. Author Elizabeth Gilbert, who discovered Jack Gilbert when she succeeded him in the same writing chair, declared, "He became the poet laureate of my life."[6]

On April 15, 2013 it was announced that Gilbert's Collected Poems was a finalist for the 2013 Pulitzer Prize in Poetry. The Pulitzer jury's citation read:

a half century of poems reflecting a creative author’s commitment to living fully and honestly and to producing straightforward work that illuminates everyday experience with startling clarity.[7]

Personal life

Much of Gilbert's work is about his relationships with women. While in Italy, he met Gianna Gelmetti, a romantic partner who appears frequently in his work. The relationship ended after a year. Gilbert was a close friend of the poet Linda Gregg, whom he met when she was nineteen and his student in San Francisco, and with whom he was in a relationship for six years. Of the poet, Gregg once said, "All Jack ever wanted to know was that he was awake—that the trees in bloom were almond trees—and to walk down the road to get breakfast. He never cared if he was poor or had to sleep on a park bench."[4][8]

He was also in a significant long-term relationship with the poet Laura Ulewicz during the late fifties and early sixties in San Francisco. Ulewicz was a great influence on his early work, in fact much of his characteristic style for which he later became known came directly from her, and his first book was dedicated to her.[9] Gilbert also was in a relationship with Michiko Nogami,[10] another former student and a Japanese language instructor 21 years his junior, about whom he wrote many of his poems. Nogami died of cancer at the age of 36, in 1982.[4] Gilbert died on November 13, 2012 in Berkeley, California.[1] He was 87.


Poetry collections

  • Views of Jeopardy Yale University Press, 1962
  • Monolithos Graywolf Press, 1984, ISBN 9780915308422
  • Kochan (1984), A limited edition chapbook of nine poems, two of which were later republished in The Great Fires: Poems 1982-1992; seven of the poems have not been otherwise published, including "Nights and Four Thousand Mornings," the longest poem Gilbert has published
  • The Great Fires: Poems 1982-1992 Knopf, 1994
  • Refusing Heaven Knopf, 2005
  • Tough Heaven: Poems of Pittsburgh Pond Road Press, 2006
  • Transgressions: Selected Poems Bloodaxe, 2006
  • The Dance Most of All Knopf, 2010
  • Collected Poems Knopf, 2012


Gilbert wrote two erotic novels with Jean Maclean which were published by the short-lived Danish Olympia Press under the pseudonym Tor Kung:[14]

  • My Mother Taught Me (1964) From the book jacket: "This is the tale of Lars, a Swedish boy, raised in an all-male orphanage without ever seeing even pictures of women, adopted into a new household with enthusiastic siblings and an energetic foster-mother."
  • Forever Ecstasy (1968) From the book jacket: "An amazing story about schoolboys, led by Paul and the devious but cowardly Rick, who at the end of the school year find themselves holding a young geometry teacher... right where they want her."


  • 19 New American Poets of the Golden Gate (1984) Gilbert's essay "Real Nouns" appears, as do select poems.


  1. ^ a b c d Penner, John (14 November 2012). "Jack Gilbert dies at 87; unconventional poet knew fame and obscurity". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 14 November 2012.
  2. ^ a b c Profile at Poets.org
  3. ^ Haglund, David (13 November 2012). "Jack Gilbert, American Poet, Dies at 87". Slate. Retrieved 14 November 2012.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g Poetry Foundation profile
  5. ^ "Jack Gilbert". The Academy of American Poets. Retrieved 2017-02-04.
  6. ^ Fassler, Joe (2012-11-06). "The 'Stubborn Gladness' of Elizabeth Gilbert's Favorite Poet". The Atlantic. Retrieved 2017-02-04.
  7. ^ a b The Pulitzer Prizes | Citation
  8. ^ Slate article
  9. ^ Gilbert, Jack (1962). "Views of Jeopardy", viii.
  10. ^ Garner, Dwight (March 13, 2012). "'Collected Poems' by Jack Gilbert". The New York Times.
  11. ^ Fellow Archived 2013-01-04 at the Wayback Machine Guggenhein Foundation.
  12. ^ Jack Jilbert:Poetry Award Lannan Foundation, official web site.
  13. ^ The Pulitzer Prizes - Finalists, Columbia University, 2013, retrieved 8 April 2013
  14. ^ Piepenbring, Dan. "My Mother Taught Me: A Poet's Misadventures in Erotica".

Further reading

  • Genesis West volume one, published in the fall of 1962, is a celebration of Jack Gilbert's poetry. This volume includes poems by Jack and an interview by Gordon Lish.
  • Allen Randolph, Jody. Interview with Jack Gilbert. Lannan Foundation: Readings and Conversations Series. VHS. Los Angeles: Lannan Foundation, 1997.

External links

1904 Pittsburgh Pirates season

The 1904 Pittsburgh Pirates season was the 23rd season of the Pittsburgh Pirates franchise; the 18th in the National League. The Pirates finished fourth in the National League with a record of 87–66.

Gilbert Jack

Gilbert Jack (Latinized: Jachaeus, Jacchaeus; c. 1578 – April 17, 1628) was Scottish Aristotelian philosopher and a physician.

Gilbert Sports and Fitness Center

The Gilbert Sports and Fitness Center is a 2,411 seat multi-purpose indoor arena on the campus of California Lutheran University, located in Thousand Oaks, Ventura County, California. It is 96,000 sq. ft.It is the college's fitness center and hosts its indoor sports activities, as well as local-regional sporting events and music concerts.

It is named after its main donor, John "Jack" Gilbert and his wife Carol.

Harrow London Borough Council elections

Harrow London Borough Council in London, England is elected every four years. Since the last boundary changes in 2002, 63 councillors are elected from 21 wards.

Herb Gilbert

Herbert R. 'Herb' Gilbert (18 September 1888 – 5 January 1972) was an Australian rugby league and rugby union player – a dual-code international. He represented the Wallabies in 3 Tests in 1910 and the Kangaroos in 7 Tests from 1911 to 1920, his last two as captain. The captain-coach of the St. George Dragons club in their inaugural season, he is considered one of the nation's finest footballers of the 20th century His sons, Herb Gilbert, Jr and Jack Gilbert were also notable rugby league footballers.

International Superstar

International Superstar is a double compilation album and the 42nd overall album by country singer Johnny Cash, released on Columbia Records in 1972 (see 1972 in music). It is a combination of previously released material, including hit singles like "A Thing Called Love" and "The One on the Right is on the Left", and new material. New songs include "Rosanna's Going Wild," a #2 hit on the country charts. Due to the inclusion of new tracks, this release is his 42nd overall album.

Jack Ashenden

Jack Gilbert Ashenden (12 May 1911 – 14 November 1992) was a New Zealand cricketer who played first-class cricket for Wellington from 1936 to 1945.

A right-arm medium-pace bowler, Ashenden partnered Tom Pritchard in opening the bowling for Wellington in the 1938-39 Plunket Shield, when he and Pritchard were two of only six players in the competition to take 10 wickets or more. He took 6 for 44 in the second innings of the innings victory over Otago. At the end of the season he played for New Zealand against Sir Julien Cahn’s XI.

Jack Gilbert (baseball)

John Robert Gilbert [Jackrabbit ] (September 4, 1875 – July 7, 1941) was a backup outfielder in Major League Baseball who played between 1898 and 1904 for the Washington Senators (1898), New York Giants (1898) and Pittsburgh Pirates (1904). He was born in Rhinecliff, New York. Batting side and throwing arm are unknown.

In a two-season career, Gilbert was a .240 hitter (23-for-96) with 13 runs and four RBI in 28 games, including five stolen bases and a .354 on-base percentage.

Gilbert died in Albany, New York at the age of 65.

Jack Gilbert (disambiguation)

Jack Gilbert (1925–2012) was an American poet.

Jack Gilbert may also refer to:

Jack Gilbert (baseball) (1875–1941), American baseball player

Jack Gilbert (footballer) (1875–?), Australian rules footballer

Jack Gilbert (rugby league), Australian rugby league footballer

Jack Gilbert (footballer)

John Walter Gilbert (25 March 1875 – 4 January 1973) was an Australian rules footballer who played with Carlton in the Victorian Football League (VFL).Gilbert was born in Fitzroy with the name John Walter Giblett but used the surname Gilbert for all his adult life.

Jack Gilbert (rugby league)

John Francis 'Jack' Gilbert (1918–1998) was an Australian WWII veteran and premiership winning rugby league footballer of the 1940s.

Jack and his brother Herb Gilbert, Jr. were sons of the pioneer rugby league champion footballer, Herb Gilbert. The brothers grew up in Bexley, New South Wales and came through the St George Dragons junior ranks. Jack's career was curtailed by World War II and he only played two full first grade seasons with St. George in 1941 and 1946. Gilbert won a premiership with St. George, playing centre in the team that defeated Eastern Suburbs in the 1941 Grand Final. At season's end Gilbert was posted to New Guinea to see active service with the Australian Army.He survived the war, and after his discharge in April 1946, Gilbert resumed his playing career at St. George Dragons for the 1946 season, before retiring from Sydney first grade football. His grandson, Sam Gilbert is an AFL footballer for the St Kilda club.Jack Gilbert died on 29 November 1998, and was cremated at Woronora Cemetery, Sutherland, New South Wales.

Jack Gilbert Graham

John "Jack" Gilbert Graham (January 23, 1932 – January 11, 1957) was an American mass murderer, who on November 1, 1955, killed 44 people aboard United Airlines Flight 629 near Longmont, Colorado using a dynamite time bomb. Graham planted the bomb in his mother's suitcase, who was killed along with 43 other people, in an apparent move to claim US$37,500 (US $343,667 today) worth of life insurance money from policies he purchased in the airport terminal just before the flight departure.

Graham was convicted only of the murder of his mother due to laws at the time, for which he was sentenced to death and was executed by the state of Colorado in 1957.

John Gilbert (actor)

John Gilbert (born John Cecil Pringle; July 10, 1897 – January 9, 1936) was an American actor, screenwriter and director. He rose to fame during the silent film era and became a popular leading man known as "The Great Lover". At the height of his career, Gilbert rivaled Rudolph Valentino, another silent film era leading man, as a box office draw.

Gilbert's popularity began to wane when silent pictures gave way to talkies. Though Gilbert was often cited as one of the high-profile examples of an actor who was unsuccessful in making the transition to talkies, his decline as a star had far more to do with studio politics and money than with the sound of his screen voice, which was rich and distinctive.


Monolithos, Poems 1962 and 1982 is the second book of poetry by American poet Jack Gilbert. It was nominated for all three major American book awards: the National Book Critics Circle Award, the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry, and the American Book Award. The same year Monolithos was published, Gilbert's partner Michiko Nogami died of cancer.

Pulitzer Prize for Poetry

The Pulitzer Prize for Poetry is one of the seven American Pulitzer Prizes that are annually awarded for Letters, Drama, and Music. It has been presented since 1922 for a distinguished volume of original verse by an American author, published during the preceding calendar year.

Finalists have been announced since 1980, ordinarily two others beside the winner.

The Lives of Famous Men

The Lives of Famous Men is an American rock band that formed in the Fall of 2006 in Portland, Oregon, each member hailing from Anchorage, Alaska. The band takes its name from the title of a poem by Jack Gilbert.

The Quarterly

The Quarterly was an avant-garde literary magazine founded and edited by Gordon Lish in 1987. The Quarterly showcased the work of contemporary authors.

Volume 1 of The Quarterly was published in Spring 1987. "The Magazine of New American Writing" featured works by: Amy Hempel, Tom Spanbauer, Matthew Levine, Jane Smiley, Jack Gilbert, Harold Brodkey, Patty Marx and others.

Volume 2 of The Quarterly was published in Summer 1987. "The Magazine of New American Writing" featured works by: Noy Holland, Mark Richard, Nancy Lemann, Ann Pyne, Jack Gilbert, Paulette Jiles, Rick Bass and others.

Volume 3 of The Quarterly was published in Fall 1987. "The Magazine of New American Writing" featured works by: Mark Richard, Hellen Schulman, Ted Pejovich, Sunny Rogers, Ann Pyne, Diane Williams, Rick Bass and others.

Volume 4 of The Quarterly was published in Winter 1987. "The Magazine of New American Writing" featured works by: Sharon Dupree, Mark Richard, Michael Hickins, Yannick Murphy, Patrick McGrath, Jan Pendleton, Rebecca Bondor, George Angel, Stephen O'Connor and others.

Volume 5 of The Quarterly was published in Spring 1988. "The Magazine of New American Writing" featured works by: Jennifer Allen, William Tester, Janet Mitchell, Sharon Dupree, Robert Fox, Sheila Kohler and others.

Volume 6 of The Quarterly was published in Summer 1988. "The Magazine of New American Writing" featured works by: Ann Pyne, Jan Pendleton, Victor Barall, Jennifer Allen, Harold Brodkey, M. D. Stein and others.

The Quarterly ended with the final publication of volume 31 in the Fall of 1995.

United Airlines Flight 629

United Airlines Flight 629, registration N37559, was a Douglas DC-6B aircraft also known as "Mainliner Denver", which was blown up with a dynamite bomb placed in the checked luggage on November 1, 1955. The explosion occurred over Longmont, Colorado at about 7:03 p.m. local time, while the airplane was en route from Denver, Colorado, to Portland, Oregon, and Seattle, Washington. All 39 passengers and five crew members on board were killed in the explosion and crash.Investigators determined that Jack Gilbert Graham was responsible for bombing the airplane to kill his mother as revenge for his childhood and to obtain a large life insurance payout. Within 15 months of the explosion, Graham—who already had an extensive criminal record—was tried, convicted, and executed for the crime.

V. C. Gilbert

V. C. Gilbert (May 28, 1901 – May 3, 1984), also known as Jack Gilbert, was an American songwriter best known for writing the popular songs "Shifting Whispering Sands" and "Chapel by the Sea", in collaboration with his wife, Mary Hadler. Both songs were written in the 1950s, and were recorded and played around the world.He was born Vivian Clark Gilbert in Spearfish, South Dakota, moving to Portland, Oregon in 1924. He worked as a carpet layer and as a commercial fisherman on the Columbia River. He and his wife began writing songs in the late 1940s. "Sands" was based on one of his personal experiences, and "Chapel" was reminiscent of a time when the Gilberts lived on Sauvie Island, near Portland.

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