See biography by J. Blotner (1997); correspondence with C. Brooks (1998), ed. by J. A. Grimshaw, Jr.; studies by C. Bohner (1964, rev. ed. 1981), J. Justus (1981), and K. Snipes (1984).
(born April 24, 1905, Guthrie, Ky., U.S.—died Sept. 15, 1989, Stratton, Vt.) U.S. novelist, poet, and critic. Warren attended Vanderbilt University, where he joined the Fugitives, a group of poets who advocated the agrarian way of life in the South. Later he taught at several colleges and universities and helped found and edit The Southern Review (1935–42), possibly the most influential American literary magazine of the time. His writings often treat moral dilemmas in a South beset by the erosion of its traditional rural values. His best-known novel is All the King's Men (1946, Pulitzer Prize; film, 1949). The short-story volume The Circus in the Attic (1948) contains the notable “Blackberry Winter.” He won Pulitzer prizes for poetry in 1958 and 1979 and became the first U.S. poet laureate in 1986.
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The award is given annually by the advisory group of the Center for Robert Penn Warren Studies at Western Kentucky University for outstanding literary criticism originally published in English in the United States.