Henri Coulette

1927–1988
Henri CouletteJoachim Reis
Coulette was an educator, editor, and poet best known for his traditionally metered poetry. He taught English at California State University—Los Angeles for almost thirty years. Formerly he had been a high school English teacher and an instructor at the University of Iowa's writer's workshop.

Coulette's first volume of poetry, The War of the Secret Agents and Other Poems, won the Lamont Poetry Award and received significant critical attention. Coulette was described as "a poet to watch" by Dudley Fitts in the New York Times Book Review. Discussing the title poem in Coulette's collection The War of the Secret Agents and Other Poems, Fitts claimed to be "frustrated throughout [this poem] by opacities of allusion and reference." However, he also praised it: "Isolated passages show power. The poem is skillfully written." And Mother Mary Anthony wrote in Western Humanities Review that The War of the Secret Agents and Other Poems is "work of a high order—disciplined originality and strong patterning, layered irony and powerful understatement."

Coulette also edited Midland: Twenty-five Years of Fiction and Poetry From Writing Workshops of the State University of Iowa; The Unstrung Lyre: Interviews With Fourteen Poets; and Character and Crisis: A Contemporary Reader.

Career

Former high school teacher of English; University of Iowa, Iowa City, instructor at writer's workshop, 1957-59; California State University, Los Angeles, 1959-88, professor of English. Gave poetry readings at universities and museums.

Bibliography

  • (Contributor) New Poets of England and America, Meridian, 1957.
  • (Contributor) Poetry for Pleasure, Doubleday, 1960.
  • (Editor, with P. Engle, and contributor) Midland: Twenty-five Years of Fiction and Poetry from Writing Workshops of the State University of Iowa, Random House, 1961.
  • (Contributor) Poet's Choice, Dial, 1962.
  • (Editor) The Unstrung Lyre: Interviews with Fourteen Poets, National Endowment for the Arts, 1965.
  • The War of the Secret Agents and Other Poems, Scribner, 1966.
  • (Editor with Philip Levine) Character and Crisis: A Contemporary Reader , McGraw, 1966.
  • The Family Goldschmitt (poems), Scribner, 1971.
  • The Collected Poems of Henri Coulette, University of Arkansas Press (Fayetteville, AR), 1990.
Also author of The Attic (poems), 1959. Contributor to Paris Review, New Yorker, and Hudson Review.

Further Reading

PERIODICALS
  • New York Review of Books, April 14, 1966;
  • New York Times Book Review, April 17, 1966;
  • Poetry, November, 1966;
  • Books Abroad, autumn, 1967;
  • Western Humanities Review, winter, 1967.
  • Los Angeles Times, April 14, 1988.

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Poet Categorization

LIFE SPAN 1927–1988

Henri Coulette

Biography

Coulette was an educator, editor, and poet best known for his traditionally metered poetry. He taught English at California State University—Los Angeles for almost thirty years. Formerly he had been a high school English teacher and an instructor at the University of Iowa's writer's workshop.

Coulette's first volume of poetry, The War of the Secret Agents and Other Poems, won the Lamont Poetry Award and received significant . . .

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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