Appleman was born in 1926 in Indiana and holds degrees from Northwestern University, the University of Michigan, and the University of Lyon. He served in U.S Army Air Corps during World War II, and was a merchant marine after. A recognized expert on the life and work of Charles Darwin, Appleman edited the critical anthology Darwin (2001) and penned two books of poems on the 19th century naturalist, Darwin's Ark (1984) and Darwin’s Bestiary (1986). Critics have singled out Appleman's grasp of Darwin's provocative theories and his ability to elucidate their social implications. Bette Chambers in the Humanist commented on the second edition of Darwin: "Laypersons and scientists alike will treasure this new edition as an essential reference work. Appleman's own lucid style emerges in 'Darwin Among the Moralists' and 'Darwin: On Changing the Mind.'" Regarding the poems of Darwin's Ark, Stephen Jay Gould praised Appleman for having "captured the elusive themes of Darwin's worldview and translat[ing] them into items of beauty that also provoke thought." Gould added that Appleman "deftly captures the meaning of Darwin's revolution," citing the "central theme of continuity between man and nature."
Both Appleman’s poetry and prose have appeared in dozens of publications, including the Nation, the New York Times, New Republic, Paris Review, Poetry, and the Yale Review. He is married to the playwright Marjorie Appleman.
- Kites on a Windy Day, Byron Press, 1967.
- Summer Love and Surf, Vanderbilt University Press, 1968.
- Open Doorways, Norton, 1976.
- Darwin's Ark (illustrated by Rudy Pozzatti), Indiana University Press, 1984.
- Darwin's Bestiary, Echo Press, 1986.
- Let There be Light, Harper Perennial, 1991.
- New and Selected Poems, 1956-1996, University of Arkansas Press, 1996.
- Karma, Dharma, Pudding & Pie, W.W. Norton, 2009.
- Perfidious Proverbs and Other Poems, Prometheus Books, 2013.
- In the Twelfth Year of the War, Putnam, 1970.
- Shame the Devil, Crown, 1981.
- Apes and Angels, Putnam, 1989.
- (Editor with William A. Madden and Michael Wolff, and contributor) 1859: Entering an Age of Crisis, Indiana University Press, 1959.
- The Silent Explosion, foreword by Sir Julian Huxley, Beacon Press, 1965, 2nd edition, 1966.
- (Editor and contributor) Darwin (critical anthology), Norton, 1970, 2nd edition, 1979, 3rd edition, 2001.
- (Editor) Charles Darwin, The Origin of Species, Norton, 1975, 2nd edition, 2002.
- (Editor) Thomas Malthus, An Essay on the Principle of Population (critical anthology), Norton, 1976, 2nd edition, 2003.
- The Labyrinth: God, Darwin, and the Meaning of Life, Quantuck Lane Press, 2014.
- Contributor of poetry to numerous periodicals, including Antioch Review, Harper's, Massachusetts Review, Nation, New Republic, New York Times, Paris Review, Partisan Review, Poetry, Sewanee Review, and Yale Review. Contributor of articles and reviews to scholarly periodicals. Victorian Studies, cofounder, 1956, co-editor, 1956-64.
- Contemporary Literary Criticism, Volume 51, Gale, 1989.
- American Poetry Review,July/August, 1977.
- Best Sellers,January 15, 1971.
- Christian Science Monitor,April 29, 1965.
- Contact II,fall, 1987.
- Harper's,August, 1965.
- Home Planet News,spring/summer, 1987.
- Hudson Review,spring, 1971.
- Humanist,July/ August, 1980.
- Kentucky Poetry Review,issue 25, 1989.
- Los Angeles Times,April 22, 1981.
- New Yorker,June 26, 1965.
- New York Times,November 30, 1970; July 7, 1991.
- New York Times Book Review,August 9, 1981.
- Parnassus: Poetry in Review,Volume 14, number 1, 1987.
- Poetry,August, 1977.
- Prairie Schooner,fall, 1969.
- Virginia Quarterly Review,summer, 1969.
- Washington Post,May 15, 1981.
- WebWUUrks, issue 7, 1998.
Poems By PHILIP APPLEMAN
- "Are You Saved?"
- A Little Heart-to-Heart on Valentine's Day
- Arts & Sciences
- Darwin’s Bestiary
More poems by Philip Appleman (18 poems)
- Gathering by the River
- Heading North
- Heavenly Body
- How Evolution Came to Indiana
- Mr. Extinction, Meet Ms. Survival
- Nostalgie de la Boue
- State of Nature
- The Trickle-Down Theory of Happiness
- The Voyage Home
- Three Haiku, Two Tanka
- To the Garbage Collectors in Bloomington, Indiana, the First Pickup of the New Year
LIFE SPAN 1926–