Nancy Willard, 60, kids' author, Newberryist
(too old to reply)
That Derek
2017-02-23 02:28:12 UTC
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Here's an obit for a children's author for which you don't have to wait 18 months!


Nancy Willard 1936 - 2017 Obituary

Nancy Willard

POUGHKEEPSIE - The well-known writer, Nancy Willard, died peacefully at her home in Poughkeepsie on February 19. Her death resulted from natural causes, according to her husband, Eric Lindbloom.

Ms. Willard's published more than 70 books, poetry, children's books, short stories,

novels, essays and criticism, in a career that spanned over fifty years. Her last children's book is due out this fall. She was also published in a number of limited-edition books, some of them with her poems paired with photographs by her husband, with Brighton Press in San Diego. Her poems are widely anthologized.

She received a number of awards for her books, the most prominent being the Newbery Award in 1982 for her William Blake's Inn, illustrated by Alice & Martin Provensen.

It was the first poetry book to be awarded the Newbery. Ms. Willard received grants from the N.E.A. in both poetry and fiction.

She joined Vassar College's English Department in 1965, and taught there through the fall semester of 2012. She taught full time for the first eight years, but then went part-time in order to have more time with her two-year old son, James, and the writing. Towards the end of her Vassar career she taught classes on special interest to herself, Fairy Tales and Medieval Tapestries. Ms. Willard never learned to drive a car - believing the world was a safer place with her not driving - and became known as 'the lady on the bicycle' in the Vassar neighborhood. For about two decades she taught at the Breadloaf Writers Conference each summer.

Ms. Willard was born on June 26, 1936 in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Her father, Hobart Willard, was a chemist who taught at the University of Michigan. Her mother, Margaret Sheppard, who said Nancy came out of womb writing, was hugely supportive of her writing as a child. She graduated from the University of Michigan with highest honors, and went on to earn an MA from Stanford. She returned to the University of Michigan to earn her PhD. Her dissertation was on the
use of physical objects in the poetry of Rilke, William Carlos Williams, Neruda, and Francis Ponge. It was published as Testimony of the Invisible Man, by the University of Missouri Press. On a number of summers during her college years she studied painting abroad, in Paris, Oslo, and San Miguel de Allende.

In 1964 she eloped with Eric, who had been pursuing her for nine years; they settled in Poughkeepsie, NY, which became home base for the rest of her life.. Their son, James Anatole Lindbloom, was born in 1970. Her sister, Ann Willard Korfhage, pre-deceased her. She is survived by her cousin Sue Wehmeier, nephews Willard Korfhage and David Korfhage, and nieces Margaret Fitzgerald and Lisa Pannell, and sisters-in-law Jean Jacobson and Ann LaRue.

A memorial service is planned for Saturday, April 29, at 2 in the afternoon, at the Poughkeepsie Friends Meeting House. Arrangements are under the direction of Wm. G. Miller & Son F.H., Inc., 371 Hooker Ave., Poughkeepsie, NY 12603. If you wish to send an online condolence please visit our website at www.wmgmillerfuneralhome.com

Published in the Poughkeepsie Journal from Feb. 22 to Feb. 24, 2017.
That Derek
2017-02-23 02:29:05 UTC
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CORRECTION: Ms. Willard was 80, not 60.
2017-02-24 02:18:39 UTC
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Post by That Derek
Here's an obit for a children's author for which you don't have to wait 18 months!
Good lord, I very seldom take more than 8 months at the most, and if I do, it's not my fault; aside from reading the New York Times regularly, there are only so many literary obituary sources I can check on a monthly basis, such as School Library Journal or Publishers Weekly. That is, I check individual people about once every 7 months - so if their survivors don't make the information available within that time frame and don't tell any of the above media, what else can I do?

In the meantime:


Sailing to Cythera and Other Anatole Stories, illustrated by David McPhail, Harcourt (San Diego, CA), 1974.
The Snow Rabbit, illustrated by Laura Lydecker, Putnam (New York, NY), 1975.
Shoes without Leather, illustrated by Laura Lydecker, Putnam (New York, NY), 1976.
The Well-mannered Balloon, illustrated by Haig and Regina Shekerjian, Harcourt (San Diego, CA), 1976.
Simple Pictures Are Best, illustrated by Tomie de Paolo, Harcourt (San Diego, CA), 1977.
Strangers' Bread, illustrated by David McPhail, Harcourt (San Diego, CA), 1977.
The Highest Hit, illustrated by Emily McCully, Harcourt (San Diego, CA), 1978.
The Island of the Grass King: The Further Adventures of Anatole, illustrated by David McPhail, Harcourt (San Diego, CA), 1979.
Papa's Panda, illustrated by Lillian Hoban, Harcourt (San Diego, CA), 1979.
The Marzipan Moon, illustrated by Marcia Sewall, Harcourt (San Diego, CA), 1981.
Uncle Terrible: More Adventures of Anatole, illustrated by David McPhail, Harcourt (San Diego, CA), 1982.
The Nightgown of the Sullen Moon, illustrated by David McPhail, Harcourt (San Diego, CA), 1983.
The Mountains of Quilt, illustrated by Tomie de Paolo, Harcourt (San Diego, CA), 1987.
Firebrat, illustrated by David Wiesner, Random House (New York, NY), 1988.
The High Rise Glorious Skittle Skat Roarious Sky Pie Angel Food Cake, illustrated by Richard J. Watson, Harcourt (San Diego, CA), 1990.
Beauty and the Beast, illustrated by Barry Moser, Harcourt (San Diego, CA), 1992.
Cracked Corn and Snow Ice Cream: A Family Almanac, illustrated by Jane Dyer, Harcourt (San Diego, CA), 1996.
The Tortilla Cat, illustrated by Jeanette Winter, Harcourt (San Diego, CA), 1997.
(And illustrator) The Magic Cornfield, Harcourt (San Diego, CA), 1997.
Shadow Story, pictures by David Diaz, Harcourt (San Diego, CA), 1999.
The Moon & Riddles Diner and the Sunnyside Cafe, Harcourt (San Diego, CA), 2001.
The Mouse, the Cat, and Grandmother's Hat, Little, Brown (Boston, MA), 2003.
Cinderella's Dress, illustrated by Jane Dyer, Blue Sky Press (New York, NY), 2003.
The Tale of Paradise Lost, illustrated by Jude Daly, Atheneum (New York, NY), 2004.
Sweep Dreams, illustrated by Mary GrandPré, Little, Brown (New York, NY), 2005.
The Flying Bed, illustrated by John Thompson, Blue Sky Press (New York, NY), 2007.
The Doctrine of the Leather-stocking Jesus: Collected Stories, Cowley Publications (Cambridge, MA), 2007.


The Merry History of a Christmas Pie: With a Delicious Description of a Christmas Soup, illustrated by Haig and Regina Shekerjian, Putnam (New York, NY), 1975.
All on a May Morning, illustrated by Haig and Regina Shekerjian, Putnam (New York, NY), 1975.
A Visit to William Blake's Inn: Poems for Innocent and Experienced Travelers, illustrated by Alice Provensen and Martin Provensen, Harcourt (San Diego, CA), 1981.
Night Story, illustrated by Ilse Plum, Harcourt (San Diego, CA), 1986.
The Voyage of the Ludgate Hill: A Journey with Robert Louis Stevenson, illustrated by Alice Provensen and Martin Provensen, Harcourt (San Diego, CA), 1987.
The Ballad of Biddy Early, illustrated by Barry Moser, Knopf (New York, NY), 1989.
Pish, Posh, Said Hieronymous Bosch, illustrated by Leo and Diane Dillon, Harcourt (San Diego, CA), 1991.
The Sorcerer's Apprentice, illustrated by Leo and Diane Dillon, Scholastic (New York, NY), 1993.
A Starlit Somersault Downhill, illustrated by Jerry Pinkney, Little, Brown (Boston, MA), 1993.
(And illustrator) An Alphabet of Angels, Scholastic (New York, NY), 1994.
(With Jane Yolen) Among Angels, Harcourt (San Diego, CA), 1995.
Gutenberg's Gift (pop-up book), illustrated by Bryan Leister, Harcourt (San Diego, CA), 1995.
(And illustrator) The Good-night Blessing Book, Scholastic (New York, NY), 1996.
(Collector) Step Lightly: Poems for the Journey, Harcourt (San Diego, CA), 1998.
The Tale I Told Sasha, illustrated by David Christiana, Little, Brown (Boston, MA), 1999.

Poems anthologized in Lullaby Moons and a Silver Spoon: A Book of Bedtime Songs and Rhymes, edited by Brooke Dyer, Little, Brown (Boston, MA), 2003.


In His Country: Poems, Generation (Ann Arbor, MI), 1966.
Skin of Grace, University of Missouri Press (Columbia, MO), 1967.
A New Herball: Poems, Ferdinand-Roter Gallerias (Baltimore, MD), 1968.
Nineteen Masks for the Naked Poet: Poems, Kayak (Santa Cruz, CA), 1971.
The Carpenter of the Sun: Poems, Liveright (New York, NY), 1974.
Household Tales of Moon and Water, Harcourt (San Diego, CA), 1983.
Water Walker, Knopf (New York, NY), 1990.
Poem Made of Water, Brighton Press (San Diego, CA), 1992.
Swimming Lessons: New and Selected Poems, Knopf (New York, NY), 1996.
In the Salt Marsh: Poems, Knopf (New York, NY), 2004.
Things Invisible to See, Cowley Publications (Cambridge, MA), 2007.


John Kater, The Letter of John to James, Seabury (New York, NY), 1981.
John Kater, Another Letter of John to James, Seabury (New York, NY), 1982.


The Lively Anatomy of God (short stories), Eakins (New York, NY), 1968.
Testimony of the Invisible Man: William Carlos Williams, Francis Ponge, Rainer Maria Rilke, Pablo Neruda (criticism), University of Missouri Press, 1970.
Childhood of the Magician (short stories), Liveright (New York, NY), 1973.
Angel in the Parlor: Five Stories and Eight Essays, Harcourt (San Diego, CA), 1983.
Things Invisible to See (novel), Knopf (New York, NY), 1984.
East of the Sun, West of the Moon: A Play, Harcourt (San Diego, CA), 1989.
Telling Time: Angels, Ancestors, and Stories, Harcourt (San Diego, CA), 1993.
Sister Water (novel), Knopf (New York, NY), 1993.
A Nancy Willard Reader: Selected Poetry and Prose, University Press of New England (Hanover, NH), 1993.
The Left-handed Story: Writing and the Writing Life, University of Michigan Press (Ann Arbor, MI), 2008.

2017-02-25 21:35:30 UTC
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(nice long bio - she doesn't seem to have a website)

(book covers)

(Kirkus reviews)

(reader reviews)



2017-03-23 16:40:46 UTC
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Ms. Willard traced her weaving of fancy and realism to her upbringing. Her father was a chemistry professor who perfected a method of rustproofing; her mother, she said, was a romantic who read to her daughters during summer boating idylls.

“I grew up aware of two ways of looking at the world that are opposed to each other and yet can exist side by side in the same person,” Ms. Willard wrote in an essay in Writer magazine. “One is the scientific view. The other is the magic view.”

In “William Blake’s Inn,” she transformed the English poet and printmaker into a hotelier who keeps an inn for a host of imaginary guests.

“Nancy Willard’s imagination — in verse or prose, for children or adults — builds castles stranger than any mad King of Bavaria ever built,” the poet Donald Hall wrote in The New York Times Book Review in 1981. “She imagines with a wonderful concreteness. But also, she takes real language and by literal-mindedness turns it into the structure of dream.”...

...Ms. Willard had no illusions about her young audience.

“Writing a book of poems for children is like sending a package to a child at camp: The cookies are fed to the fish, the books are fly swatters and the baseball cards are traded,” she once observed. “You never know the use to which your gift — or your poems — will be put. if you’re lucky, children a hundred years hence will be skipping rope to them or muttering them over the graves of dead cats.”

While her style evolved, one ingredient remained integral.

“Most of us grow up and put magic away with other childish things,” she explained in Writer magazine. “But I think we can all remember a time when magic was as real to us as science, and the things we couldn’t see were as important as the things we could.”...