:Phyllis McGinley (1905-1978). Courtesy Reveries under the Sign of Austen.

Phyllis McGinley
File:Phyllis McGinley.jpg
Born March 21, 1905
Ontario, Oregon
Died February 22, 1978(1978-Template:MONTHNUMBER-22) (aged 72)
New York City
Nationality United States Template:United States

Phyllis McGinley (March 21, 1905 - February 22, 1978) was an American poet and a writer of children's books.[1]


McGinley was born in Ontario, Oregon, the daughter of Julia (Keisel) and Daniel McGinley. When she was young her parents moved frequently, finally settling in Cliff, Colorado. When she was 12 her father died and the family moved to live with relatives in Ogden, Utah, where she attended Ogden High School.[2]

She studied at the University of Southern California and the University of Utah in Salt Lake City where she was a Kappa Kappa Gamma, graduating in 1927. She then moved to New York City. She wrote copy for an advertising agency, and taught at a junior high school in New Rochelle, New York for one year, until her career as a writer and poet took off.

A poet from the age of six, she published prolifically. Her poems appeared primarily in The New Yorker, where she first published in 1934 or earlier, but she also wrote for such outlets as New York Herald Tribune and was the poetry editor for Town & Country.

She moved to Larchmont, New York in 1937 with her husband, Charles Hayden, and raised two daughters there, singing the praises of domesticity and small town suburbia for nearly 40 years.

She also wrote the lyrics for a musical revue, Small Wonder, in 1948, and the script for the Czech animated feature film "The Emperor's Nightingale," in 1951. McGinley died in New York City in 1978.


In 1955, she was elected a member of the National Institute of Arts and Letters.

In 1961 she won the Pulitzer Prize in Poetry.

In 1964 she was honored with the Laetare Medal by the University of Notre Dame (described as 'An honor to a man or woman who has "enriched the heritage of humanity"').

She also holds nearly a dozen honorary degrees - "including one from the stronghold of strictly masculine pride, Dartmouth College" (from the dust jacket of Sixpence in Her Shoe (copy 1964)).

Publications Edit

Poetry Edit

  • On the Contrary. Garden City, NY: Doubleday, Doran, 1934.
  • One More Manhattan. New York: Harcourt, Brace, 1937.
  • A Pocketful of Wry. New York: Duell, Sloan & Pearce, 1940
  • Husbands Are Difficult; or, The book of Oliver Ames. New York: Duell, Sloan & Pearce, 1941.
  • Stones from a Glass House: New poems. New York: Viking, 1946.
  • A Short Walk from the Station. New York: Viking, 1951.
  • The Love Letters of Phyllis McGinley. New York: Viking, 1954.
  • Times Three: Selected verse from three decades, with seventy new poems (foreword by W.H. Auden). New York: Viking, 1960.
  • Christmas Con and Pro. Berkeley, CA: Hart Press, 1971.
  • Confessions of a Reluctant Optimist (edited by Barbara Wells Price, illustrated by Peter Lippmann). Kansas City, MO: Hallmark, 1973.

Non-fiction Edit

  • Province of the Heart (essays). New York: Viking, 1959.
  • Sixpence in Her Shoe. New York: Macmillan, 1964.
  • Saint Watching. New York: Viking, 1969.

Juvenile Edit

  • The Horse Who Lived Upstairs. Philadelphia: Lippincott, 1944.
  • The Plain Princess. Philadelphia & New York: Lippincott, 1945.
  • All Around the Town (illustrated by Helen Stone). Philadelphia & New York: Lippincott, 1948.
  • The Most Wonderful Doll in the World (illustrated by Helen Stone). Philadelphia & New York: Lippincott, 1950.
  • Blunderbus (illustrated by William Wiesner). Philadelphia: Lippincott, 1951.
  • The Horse Who Had His Picture in the Paper (illustrated by Helen Stone). Philadelphia: Lippincott, 1951.
  • The Make-Believe Twins (1953)
  • The Year Without a Santa Claus (illustrated by Kurt Werth). Philadelphia: Lippincott, 1957.
  • Merry Christmas, Happy New Year. New York: Viking, 1958.
  • Lucy McLockett (illustrated by Helen Stone). Philadelphia: Lippincott, 1959.
  • Sugar and Spice: The ABC of being a girl. New York: F. Watts, 1960.
  • Mince Pie and Mistetoe (illustrated by Harold Berson). Philadelphia: Lippincott, 1961.
  • Boys Are Awful. New York: F. Watts, 1962.
  • How Mrs. Santa Claus Saved Christmas.Philadelphia: Lippincott, 1963.
  • Wonderful Time (poetry; illustrated by John Alcorn). Philadelphia & New York: Lippincott, 1965.
  • A Wreath of Christmas Legends (poetry; illustrated by Leonard Weisgard). New York: Macmillan, 1967.
  • The B Book (illustrated by Emil Johnson). New York: Crowell-Collier, 1968.
  • Wonders and Surprises: A collection of poems. Philadelphia: Lippincott, 1968.

Except where noted, bibliographical information courtesy WorldCat.[3]

See alsoEdit


  1. Belafante, Ginia (2008). "Suburban Rapture". New York Times (December 24). Retrieved 2008-12-27. 
  2. "Phyllis McGinley," Utah History to Go, State of Utah,, Web, Dec. 5, 2011.
  3. Search results = au:Phyllis McGinley, WorldCat, OCLC Online Computer Library Center Inc. Web, Dec. 9, 2014.

External linksEdit

Audio / video
This page uses Creative Commons Licensed content from Wikipedia. (view article). (view authors).
This page uses content from Wikinfo . The original article was at Wikinfo:Phyllis McGinley.
The list of authors can be seen in the (view authors). page history. The text of this Wikinfo article is available under the GNU Free Documentation License and the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 license.

Ad blocker interference detected!

Wikia is a free-to-use site that makes money from advertising. We have a modified experience for viewers using ad blockers

Wikia is not accessible if you’ve made further modifications. Remove the custom ad blocker rule(s) and the page will load as expected.