Dugan grew up in Jamaica, Queens in New York City and served in World War II, experiences which entered his poetry though he avoided simple autobiography or confession. He later lived in Truro on Cape Cod in Massachusetts, where he directed the Fine Arts Work Center and was a mentor and teacher to younger poets for decades.
Dugan's work was published in successive numbered collections under the simple title Poems.
Alan Dugan was married to the artist Judith Shahn. He died of pneumonia at age 80.
Since his death in 2003, a complete volume of collected poetry has yet to appear.
Yale Series of Younger PoetsNational Book AwardPulitzer Prize in PoetryPoems Seven: New and Complete PoetrySeven Stories PressNew York Dugan received many other awards and fellowships for his poetry, including:Poems
- Prix De Rome, National Institute of Arts and Letters(1962)
- The Shelley Memorial Award: Poetry Society of America (1982)
- The Award in Literature: American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters(1985)
- Awarded the Lannan Literary Award for Poetry in 2002.
- General Prothalamion in Populous Times. privately printed, 1961.
- Poems. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1961
- reprinted as Poems of Alan Dugan. New York: Atlantic.
- Poems 2. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1963.
- Poems 3. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1967.
- Collected Poems (contains Poems, Poems 2, and Poems 3). New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1969.
- Poems 4. Boston: Little, Brown, 1974.
- Sequence (cover designed and silkscreen printed by Judith Shahn). Cambridge, MA: Dolphin Editions, 1976.
- New and Collected Poems, 1961-1983. New York: Ecco Press, 1983.
- Ten Years of Poems: From Alan Dugan's Workshop at Castle Hill Center for the Arts, Truro, Massachusetts (edited by Marion Conger et al.). Truro, MA: The Center, 1987.
- Poems Six. New York: Ecco Press, 1989.
- Poems Seven: New and Complete Poetry. New York: Seven Stories Press, 2001.
- Alan Dugan profile and 2 poems at the Academy of American Poets.
- Alan Dugan 1923-2003 at the Poetry Foundation.
- Alan Dugan at PoemHunter (26 poems).
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