Fun Facts Friday: Phyllis McGinley

March 21, 2014

Phyllis McGinley (21, March 1905 – 22 February, 1978) wrote poetry and children’s books. Notable for her satiric tone and light verse, Mrs. McGinley specialized in focusing on the positive side of life.

 Fun Facts Friday Phyllis McGinleyBooks by Phyllis McGinley

  1. Mrs. McGinley’s father was a land speculator. The reason they settled in Cliff, CO was because he couldn’t sell the land.
  2. Mr. McGinley’s father passed away when she was 12, she then moved in with relatives in Ogden.
  3. While attending the University of Utah, Mrs. McGinley entered a university contest for the best poetry, short stories, and essays. She submitted entries under pseudonyms in all categories and twice won all the cash awards.
  4. While at the college, the author also submitted her poetry to New York based magazines and moved to the city in 1929.
  5. While living in the big city, Mrs. McGinley held various jobs including a copywriter for an advertising agency, teacher in a junior high school in New Rochelle, and staff writer for Town and Country.
  6. Her future husband, Charles L. Hayden, worked for the Belle phone company and was a jazz player. Mrs. McGinley thought  Mr. Hayden’s jazz playing is a sign he would not be a good husband, but they married anyway and had two daughters.
  7. Mrs. McGinley, who is noted for her light style of poetry, used to write much more serious verses until she got an advice from a New York fiction editor Katherine White : “Dear Miss McGinley: We are buying your poem, but why do you sing the same sad songs all lady poets sing?
  8. Mrs. McGinley wrote 18 books.
  9. The author won a Pulitzer prize for light verse Times Three: Selected Verse from Three Decades with Seventy New Poems (1960) in 1961.
  10. The Phyllis McGinley Papers can be found at the Special Collections Research Center of Syracuse University.

Books by Phyllis McGinley

Zohar – Man of la Book

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