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All of the staff and board at the Poetry Foundation and Poetry magazine express their profound sorrow at the death of John Updike.
Although many people knew him as a prolific novelist, Updike also wrote and published several books of poetry. Some of his poems were printed in Poetry magazine. He is, in fact, the author of this site's most popular poem, Ex-Basketball Player. We spoke to him about the poem's popularity a few years ago. You can read what he had to say here.
You can also listen to Eliza Foss read Updike's short poem "Food" here.
We will miss him.

Originally Published: January 27th, 2009

Catherine Halley is the editor of JSTOR Daily, an online magazine that draws connections between current affairs, historical scholarship, and other content available on JSTOR, a digital library of scholarly journals, books, and primary sources. She is the former digital director of the Poetry Foundation, where she served as editor...

  1. January 28, 2009
     Aaron Fagan

    My name links to a Scientific American obit.
    My favorite poem of his that Poetry published is Saying Goodbye to Very Young Children:
    http://www.poetryfoundation.org/archive/poem.html?id=30077

  2. January 30, 2009
     Jason Guriel

    There's a perfect quote about Updike, by Martin Amis, posted here.

  3. January 30, 2009
     Jason Guriel

    In case I screwed up the HTML, the quote's at vehiculepress.blogspot.com.

  4. February 5, 2009
     Ms Broque

    Ah, that is so nice. Not many comments on this post, though a couple of anodyne Facebook comments seemed to provoke strong reactions! People seem to have moved on to a different aesthetic, btu you cannot deny that Updike was huge, and hugely important and influential upon us, the next generation. Less so with poets than novelists, but even so. I love your gracious message.