Lou B. ("Bink") Noll

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Lou Barker ("Bink") Noll (April 15, 1927 - November 9, 1986) was an American poet, one of a notable group of poets who graduated from Princeton University in the 1940s and early '50s. At the time of his death, he was professor of English at Beloit College in Wisconsin.


Bink Noll was born in Orange, New Jersey, on April 15, 1927. He graduated from Princeton University in 1948, after serving in the Merchant Marine from August 1945 to January 1947. He earned his MA degree from Johns Hopkins University in 1950, and his PhD in English Literature from the University of Colorado in 1956. His dissertation focused on the lyrical achievement of Abraham Cowley.

After teaching at Beloit College in 1953-54, he taught for six years on the English faculty at Dartmouth College. In 1960-61 he lectured on American language and literature at Zaragoza, Spain, on a Fulbright Fellowship. He returned to Beloit College in 1961 and was promoted to full professor in 1969. He received an NEA grant in 1974.

Noll published three volumes of poetry. His first book, The Center of the Circle was published by Harcourt, Brace, and World in 1962. Already his poetry had appeared in leading periodicals, including The Atlantic Monthly, The Paris Review, The Kenyon Review, and The Nation.

A second volume of verse, The Feast, followed in 1967. In 1968, he signed the “Writers and Editors War Tax Protest” pledge, vowing to refuse tax payments in protest against the Vietnam War.[1]

During the following decade his career was interrupted by illness. His third book, The House, appeared in 1984. It is a mature performance by an accomplished poet. In The House the formality of his earlier style is softened, but the verse is still informed by a subtle awareness of sound. The poems explore the triumphs and tragedies of domestic life.

Bink Noll's papers, including correspondence and journals, reside in the Beloit College Archives. He corresponded with several notable literary figures of the twentieth century, including William Morris Meredith, Richard Eberhart, George Garrett (poet), Willard Thorpe, Ned O'Gorman, and W. S. Merwin.

American composer Burrill Phillips set Noll's words to music in "Song in a Winter Night: for soprano and piano" (1985).

Noll died at Beloit, Wisconsin, on November 9, 1986, after years of heart trouble following cancer treatment.



  • The Center of the Circle (1962)
  • Seven Princeton Poets (1963)
  • The Feast (1967)
  • The House (1984)
  • Lunch on Omaha Beach


  • Song in a winter night: for soprano and piano / words by Bink Noll; Burrill Phillips. (1985)


  1. ^ “Writers and Editors War Tax Protest” January 30, 1968 New York Post

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