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Sample Autograph Signature: Donald Justice

American Pulitzer Prize winning poet and educator. Donald Justice (1925 2004) was born in Miami, Florida, the son of an itinerant carpenter. Despite the Depression and his near-poor parents, he was given piano lessons. After graduating from Andrew Jackson High School, he pursued his interest in music by attended the University of Miami where he at first studied musical composition with composer Carl Ruggles, but graduated in 1945 with a degree in English. He then briefly moved to New York City, subsisting on odd jobs before obtaining an M.A. at the University of North Carolina in 1947. After some unsatisfactory postgraduate study at Stanford University from 1948 to 1949, he returned to Florida and served as an instructor at the University of Miami until 1951. In 1954 he earned a Ph.D. from the University of Iowa's program in creative writing, the Iowa Writers' Workshop. A 1954 Rockefeller award gave him a year's sojourn in Europe before teaching at University of Missouri (1955-1956) and Hamline University (1956-1957), and then returning to the Workshop until 1967 when he moved to Syracuse University until 1970. He then taught at the University of California, Irvine (1970-1971), returning to University of Iowa from 1971 until 1982, but with appearances at Princeton University (1976) and the University of Virginia (1980). From 1982 until his retirement in 1992, he taught at the University of Florida, Gainesville. Justice's first collection of poems, The Summer Anniversaries (1960), received the Academy's Lamont Poetry Selection award and was a National Book Award Finalist in 1961. He was the author of nine other books of poetry including Departures (1973) which was nominated for the National Book Award in 1974, Selected Poems (1979) for which he won the Pulitzer Prize in 1980. His New and Selected Poems was a National Book Award Finalist in 1995. Justice was awarded the Bollingen Prize in Poetry in 1991, and the Lannan Literary Award in 1996. His honors also included grants from the Guggenheim Foundation, the Rockefeller Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Arts. He was a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and a Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets from 1997 to 2003. His Collected Poems was nominated for the National Book Award in 2004.

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