Daniel Mark Epstein

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Daniel Mark Epstein (born October 25, 1948 in Washington, D.C.) is an American poet, dramatist and biographer.

Epstein earned his B.A. from Kenyon College. He has been awarded an NEA Poetry Fellowship, a Guggenheim Fellowship, the Prix de Rome (1977), the Robert Frost Prize, the Emily Clark Balch Prize from The Virginia Quarterly, and an Academy Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters in 2006. Epstein has written biographies of Abraham Lincoln, Bob Dylan, Walt Whitman, Nat King Cole, Edna St. Vincent Millay and Aimee Semple McPherson. He has published eight volumes of poetry, including No Vacancies in Hell (1973), Young Men's Gold (1978), The Book of Fortune (1982), Spirits (1987), The Traveler's Calendar (2002), and "The Glass House" (2009) as well as a book of stories, Star of Wonder (1986) and the memoir Love's Compass (1990).

His poetry has appeared in The Atlantic Monthly, The New Yorker, The New Republic, The Nation, The Paris Review, Poetry Magazine, The Hudson Review, and many other magazines. His plays, which have been produced off-Broadway and in regional theaters, include Jenny and the Phoenix, The Midnight Visitor, and The Leading Lady.

In a review in Booklists of Epstein's book of poetry The Traveler's Calendar, (February 29, 2002) the critic wrote, "Biographies of Aimee Semple McPherson, Nat 'King' Cole, and Edna St. Vincent Millay have won Epstein greater renown, but his best writing is his mythically and historically haunted poetry....Epstein's new work...expresses the sorrows of the middle of life's journey with near-Dantesque poignancy."

In 2005, Epstein wrote the libretto for Jefferson & Poe: A Lyric Opera in Two Acts—music by Damon Ferrante.


  • Jackson, Richard (1983). Acts of Mind: Conversations with Contemporary Poets. University of Alabama Press.
  • Mallon, Thomas (2001). "Hustler With a Lyric Voice." The Atlantic. October 2001.
  • Maslin, Janet (2008). "The Real Lincoln Bedroom." New York Times. July 3.
  • Mitgang, Herbert (1993). "Evangelists of 2 Eras." New York Times. April 15.
  • Moore, Lorrie (2002). "Burning at Both Ends." New York Review of Books. March 14.
  • Ressner, Jeffrey (1999). "Nat King Cole." Time Magazine. December 5.
  • Skloot, Floyd (2002). "The Rare Balance." Southern Review. June.
  • Thurman, Judith (2001). "Books." The New Yorker. September 3.
  • Wood, Susan (1978). "A Garland of Verse." The Washington Post. December 3.

External links[edit]

Author Daniel Mark Epstein Discussed His Recent Book-CyberLC. www.loc.gov/locvideo/epstein