Audrey Wurdeman 1911-1960

Audrey Wurdeman was born in Seattle and graduated from the University of Washington in 1931. She then spent some time travelling throughout the USA and Asia. She had already her first poetry published in 1917 at the age of sixteen with the collection House of Silk. In 1933 she got married to the poet and novelist, Joseph Auslander, a Harvard graduate whose first wife had died in childbirth. They went on to have two children and moved to Washington DC in 1937 when Joseph was appointed Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry of the Library of Congress in 1937 and she acted as his office administrator. Later in life she served as the president of the National League for American women.

Her collection Bright Ambush won her the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry in 1935, making her at 24 years old the youngest winner of this prestigious award. This was followed in fairly quick succession by three further volumes, The Seven Sins (1935), Splendour in the Grass (1936) and Testament of Love 1938, a collection of sonnets. In 1945 when Joseph’s term of office came to an end in 1941 they moved to Florida, where Audrey collaborated with her husband on two novels, My Uncle Jan (1945) and The Islanders (1951). She died in 1960, her husband five years later.

Although she only produced a relatively small body of work, it is all of high lyrical quality and has stood the test of time.

Works include

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