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Maine Writers Index - Detail (Return to List)
Lewis Putnam Turco (1934 - )
Genre: Non-Fiction - Scholarly, Non-Fiction, Poetry
Lewis Putnam Turco
(1934 - )
Lew Turco (also uses pseudonym of Wesli Court) -- prolific and internationally known poet, essayist, and literary critic -- is a long-time summer resident of Dresden, Maine, and since 1996 has lived there year-round, operating an online used book store called Mathom Bookshop until it closed in Dec. 2006; the name was taken from a JRR Tolkien word meaning 'useless treasures,' things for which there is no earthly use but that we still can't bring ourselves to throw away. He's got a detailed essay on his weblog titled 'How I Got Into Books.'
Turco was born on 2 May 1934 in Buffalo, NY, served in the U.S. Navy from 1952 to 1956, and graduated from the University of Connecticut in 1959, whose alumni association honored him with a Distinguished Alumnus Award in 1992. He earned his M.A. from the University of Iowa in 1962, which has a collection of some of Turco's papers. He is Professor Emeritus of English at SUNY in Oswego, NY, where he founded the Program in Writing Arts; he was also founding director of the Cleveland State University Poetry Center. Turco has won many awards, including the 1986 Melville Cane Award of the Poetry Society of America, the 1990 Cooper House Chapbook Prize from Poet magazine, the first annual Bordighera Bilingual Poetry Prize (with Italian translator Joseph Alessia) in 1997 for his A Book of Fears, the 1999 John Ciardi Award for lifetime achievement in poetry, and an honorary degree in Humane Letters from Ashland University in Ohio in 2000. He was also inducted into the Meriden, Connecticut, Hall of Fame in 1993. Much more about Turco at his website and his weblog 'About Me' page. He's also listed at Wikipedia.
Works written under his own name include:
The following books were published under the pseudonym Wesli Court:
Turco also edited That Band from Indiana, written by Charlie Davis (Mathom Pub. Co., 1982).
Turco's 1998 poem 'Blues
for George Gershwin,' is available online through
The Blue Moon Review. His terzanelle 'Terzanelle
in Thunderweather' (scroll down to second poem) is also online, and
his pantoum 'The
Eunuch Cat' (scroll down 2/3 of the page).