Josephine Jacobsen

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Josephine Jacobsen
Born (1908-08-19)19 August 1908
Cobourg, Ontario, Canada
Died 9 July 2003(2003-07-09) (aged 94)
Cockeysville, Maryland, USA
Occupation Poet, literary critic
Nationality Canada, United States
Notable awards Robert Frost Medal (1997)

Josephine Jacobsen (19 August 1908 – 9 July 2003) was an American poet, short story writer, and critic. She was appointed the twenty-first Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress in 1971.[1]


Born in Cobourg, Ontario, Canada, she moved with her family to New York at a young age. When she was fourteen, she moved to Maryland where she lived for the rest of her life. Jacobsen served as poetry consultant to the Library of Congress from 1971 to 1973 and as honorary consultant in American letters from 1973 to 1979. She served as member of both the literature panel for the National Endowment of the Arts and of the poetry committee of Folger Library.

She was a prolific writer of poems and short-stories into her ninth decade. Joseph Brodsky praised her poetry for its "reserve, stoic timbre, and its high precision" while William Meredith called her "post-cocious" for her prolific writing late in life.

Jacobsen is the author of several collections of poetry and prose. Among her awards are an Academy of American Poets fellowship and the 1997 Poets' Prize for In the Crevice of Time. She received honorary doctorates from Goucher College, The College of Notre Dame in Maryland, Towson State University, and Johns Hopkins University. She was inducted into The American Academy of Arts and Letters in 1994 and received the Robert Frost Medal for her Lifetime of achievement in poetry.

Jacobsen was also a fan of the Baltimore Orioles baseball team and wrote poems on her love of baseball.


  • 1940 Let Each Man Remember
  • 1953 The Human Climate: New Poems
  • 1966 The Animal Inside
  • 1974 The Shade-Seller: New and Selected Poems
  • 1981 The Chinese Insomniacs: New Poems
  • 1987 The Sisters: New and Selected Poems
  • 1995 In the Crevice of Time: New and Collected Poems
  • 1997 The Instant of Knowing: Selected Prose
  • 2008 Contents of a Minute (Chapbook)


  1. ^ "Poet Laureate Timeline: 1971-1980". Library of Congress. 2008. Retrieved 2008-12-19. 

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