EBERHART, Richard ( 1904-), was born in Austin, Minnesota, the son of a well-off midwestern businessman who worked for a meatpacking company. Eberhart graduated from high school in 1921 and briefly attended the Universiry of Minnesota, before making his way cast to Dartmouth College, where he graduated with a BA in 1926. After graduation, Eberhart had a succession of temporary jobs until he signed on to a tramp steamer to sail around the world. He eventually jumped ship and made his way to England, where he enrolled in St John's College, Cambridge, taking another BA in 1929. At Cambridge, he studied with I. A. ★Richards and befriended William ★Empson. Returning to the States, Eberhart studied in the graduate school at Harvard ( 1932-3), then took a position as an English instructor at St Mark's School, near Boston, where he taught for seven years; during this time, one of his pupils was Robert ★Lowell. During the war, Eberhart served as an aerial-gunnery instructor for the US Navy. This experience led to the writing of his most famous poem, 'The Fury of Aerial Bombardment'. Eberhart married Elizabeth Butcher, the daughter of a wealthy manufacturer, just before the war, after the war he served for several years as an executive of his father-in-law's floor-wax company. Leaving the business world for academe in the early 1950s, Eberhart caught Engfish literature at Princeton, then at Dartmouth, where he remains poet-in-residence. Recognition came slowly to Eberhart, though he had an early champion in F. R. Leavis, who was reminded of Blake when he read Eberhart compact early lyrics, such as 'For a Lamb' and 'The Groundhog'. Leavis also noted a mystical strain in Eberhart which has continued throughout the years.
Eberhart's collections of poetry have usually been greeted with mixed reviews; critics have most often complained of unevenness in the volumes, which contain too many ill-formed, awkward poems. But he has been widely praised for his best work, which is marked by a peculiar fierceness, a willingness to grapple with issues of human mortality and sin. Eberhart's poems are often set in highly symbolic, northern landscapes. In recent years the coast of Maine has often been the setting for his work, as in The Long Reach ( New York, 1984). In all, Eberhart has published nearly thirty books since A Bravery of Earth, his first volume, appeared in 1930. His Collected Poems, 1930-1986 ( New York, 1996), remains the most comprehensive collection of his work. Among his numerous awards and prizes are the Bollingen Award ( 1962), the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry ( 1966), and the National Book Award ( 1977). In addition to the poetry, Eberhart has also written verse dramas and criticism. For criticism of his work, see Joel Roache, Richard Eberhart ( New York, 1971) and Bernard F. Engel, Richard Eberhart ( Boston, 1971).
ECHERUO, Michael ( 1937-), was born in Okigwi in the Owerri Province of the former East Central State of Nigeria. After studying at Stella Maris College, Port Harcourt, and at the newly established University College of Ibadan, he embarked on a career as a university teacher, firstly at the University of Nigeria at Nsukka, then back at Ibadan, where he holds the chair of English. He took further degrees at Cornell