Nemerov, Howard (nĕmˈĕrôf) [key], 1920–91, American poet, novelist, and critic, b. New York City, grad. Harvard, 1941; brother of photographer Diane Arbus. He taught at Bennington College for many years and was associated with Washington Univ. in St. Louis from 1969 until his death. Nemerov's witty and often gloomy poetry ranges in tone from light to deeply philosophical; collections include The Image and the Law (1947), The Next Room of the Dream (1964), Collected Poems (1977; Pulitzer Prize), By Al Lebowitz's Pool (1979), Inside the Onion (1984), and War Stories (1987). He was poet laureate of the United States (1988–90). His fiction deals largely with moral dilemmas, as in The Melodramatists (1949).
See his Selected Poems (2003), ed. by D. Anderson; studies by B. Duncan, ed. (1971) and J. Bartholomay (1972).