Follow Harriet on Twitter

About Harriet


John Updike (1932-2009)

By Catherine Halley

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.

Comments (4)

  • On January 28, 2009 at 4:52 pm Aaron Fagan wrote:

    My name links to a Scientific American obit.
    My favorite poem of his that Poetry published is Saying Goodbye to Very Young Children:

  • On January 30, 2009 at 9:08 am Jason Guriel wrote:

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

  • On January 30, 2009 at 12:03 pm Jason Guriel wrote:

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

  • On February 5, 2009 at 6:35 am Ms Broque wrote:

    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.

Posted in Uncategorized on Tuesday, January 27th, 2009 by Catherine Halley.