Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book

Individual Author Record

General Information

Name:  Archibald MacLeish  

Pen Name: None


Audience: Adult;

Born: May 7, 1892 in Glenco. Illinois

Died: April 20, 1982 in Boston, Massachusetts

-- Website --
-- Archibald Macleish on WorldCat --

Illinois Connection

MacLeish was born and raised in Glencoe. He grew up on an estate bordering Lake Michigan.

Biographical and Professional Information

Archibald MacLeish is best known for his works of poetry, although he also wrote drama and criticism. He received a law degree fromm Harvard University, where he graduated first in his class. After practicing law from 1920 to 1923, he dicided to devote himself to literature. He was Librarian of Congress from 1939 to 1944 and Professor of Rhetoric and Oratory at Harvard from 1949 to 1962.

Published Works Expand for more information

Titles At Your Library

J.B.: A Play in Verse
ISBN: 0395083532

Houghton Mifflin. 1989

Based on the story of Job, this drama in verse tells the story of a twentieth-century American banker and millionaire whom God commands be stripped of his family and wealth, but who refuses to turn his back on God. J.B. won the Pulitzer Prize for drama in 1959 and the Tony Award for best play. More important, the play sparked a national conversation about the nature of God, the meaning of hope, and the role of the artist in society.

Riders on the Earth: Essays and Recollections
ISBN: 0395263824

Houghton Mifflin. 1978

The distinguished poet, playwright, and critic combines reflections on American culture, politics, and science during the past decade with autobiographical recollections and appreciations of Frost, Pound, and other fellow writers

Letters of Archibald Macleish: 1907 to 1982
ISBN: 039532159X

Houghton Mifflin. 1983

A major collection that includes missives from MacLeish the homesick fourteen-year-old schoolboy, the college student, soldier, and young poet to a variety of correspondents including Hemingway, Joyce, Fitzgerald, Henry Luce, Felix Frankfurter, Franklin Roosevelt, and Allen Tate

Collected Poems 1917 to 1982
ISBN: 0395395690

Mariner Books. 1985

This expanded volume of the distinguished poet's work contains 29 previously uncollected poems, some that had been published, and some found in manuscript after MacLeish's death in 1982. This is the definitive volume produced by a life that filled several careers as writer, teacher, and public servant, but was devoted above all to poetry.

Archibald MacLeish: Reflections
ISBN: 0870235117

University of Massachusetts Press. 1986

"During the last five years of his life MacLeish participated in this series of interviews tracing his career as a poet, Librarian of Congress, statesman, and man of letters. He speaks candidly of his student years, his 'expatriate period' in Paris, and his subsequent writing and teaching. The editor/interviewers have wisely asked only brief, perceptive questions, leaving the spotlight on the poet. His language is colloquial, and the range of his writing experience, and acquaintances should prove fascinating to readers."--Library Journal



  • Pulitzer Prize for poetry, 1933
  • Collected Poems 19171952

  • Pulitzer Prize for poetry, 1953
  • National Book Award, 1953

    Other Awards