Leo Connellan

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Leo Connellan (November 30, 1928 – February 22, 2001) was an American poet born in Portland, Maine. He grew up in Rockland, Maine,[1] spent much of his life in the environs of New York City,[2] and lived at the time of his death in Sprague, Connecticut.[3] He spent considerable time traveling in the United States between the ages of 19 and 36, taking work as a salesman after his daughter was born.[4]

Connellan's rough, "everyman" lyricism won him the admiration of such poet-critics as Karl Shapiro,[5] Robert Penn Warren,[citation needed] Richard Eberhart,[6] Richard Wilbur,[7] David B. Axelrod[8] and other major voices of the twentieth century.[citation needed] Connellan won the Shelley Memorial Award from the Poetry Society of America[9] and served as Connecticut's second Poet Laureate from 1996 until his death.[1] His duties in this post were little defined, but Connellan said he saw promoting poetry in schools and supporting new writers as among his responsibilities.[10] From 1987 until the time of his death, he was poet-in-residence for the Connecticut State University System.[11] Connellan had himself attended the University of Maine.[12] He was designated one of Maine's most prominent poets in the Maine Literary Hall of Fame.[13]

Connellan took among his themes the fishing and lobstering industries in Maine, and the lives of New York commuters.[1] His work featured in anthologies, including Wesley McNair's The Maine Poets: An Anthology of Verse,[14] and the Curbstone Press's Poetry like bread anthology of "poets of the political imagination."[15]

List of Publications[edit]

  • The Maine Poems (1999)
  • Short Poems, City Poems, 1944--1998 (1998)
  • Provincetown and Other Poems (1995)
  • New and Collected Poems (1989)
  • The Clear Blue Lobster-Water Country: A Trilogy (1985)[16]
  • Shatterhouse (1983)
  • Massachusetts Poems (1981)
  • The Gunman and Other poems (1979)
  • Death in Lobster Land: New Poems (1978)
  • First Selected Poems (1976)[17]
  • Crossing America (1976) - Considered by many to be Connellan at his best.
  • Another Poet in New York (1975)
  • Penobscot Poems (1974)


  1. ^ a b c Ryan, Bill (23 June 1996). "A poet laureate's voice for the working class". New York Times. Retrieved 29 March 2010.
  2. ^ Wolf, Stephen (2007). I Speak of the City. Connecticut University Press. p. 184. ISBN 9780231140652.
  3. ^ Weiss, Tara (24 February 2001). "A working man who wrote poetry: Connecticut's poet laureate dies after suffering massive stroke a week ago". Hartford Courant.
  4. ^ Bernstein, Hattie (10 December 1989). "Poet teaches by example". Sunday Telegraph (Massachusetts).
  5. ^ "Leo Connellan". Great American Publishing Society.
  6. ^ Battista, Carolyn (2 January 1994). "A down-to-earth poet is an inspiration to students". New York Times. Retrieved 29 March 2010.
  7. ^ Dufresne, Bethe (18 April 1996). "Connellan is named state poet laureate". The Day.
  8. ^ Axelrod, David B (Spring 2001). "IN MEMORIUM, LEO CONNELLAN". Poetry Bay. Retrieved 29 March 2010.
  9. ^ "Leo Connellan, state poet laureate, 72". Associated Press. 24 February 2001. Retrieved 29 March 2010.
  10. ^ Stowe, Stacey (19 March 2000). "It's official: fossil, bug, and bird, but dirt gets a veto". New York Times.
  11. ^ Smith, Martha (5 February 1995). "Leo Connellan: I write about people who struggle just to stay alive". The Providence Journal.
  12. ^ "Leo Connellan, Connecticut's poet laureate, 72". New York Times. 24 February 2001. Retrieved 29 March 2010.
  13. ^ "Maine Literary Hall of Fame". Maine Literature. Retrieved 29 March 2010.
  14. ^ Wesley McNair, ed. (2006). The Maine Poets: An Anthology of Verse. Down East. ISBN 0-89272-708-X.
  15. ^ Zapata, Martin (1994). Poetry like bread. Curbstone Press. ISBN 1-880684-15-2.
  16. ^ Flint, RW (14 July 1985). "Sad and shaggy down east". New York Times.
  17. ^ Carruth, Hayden (23 May 1976). "First selected poems". New York Times.

External links[edit]