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John Logan, 64, Ex-Poetry Editor of the Nation, Dies

November 10, 1987

John Logan, a poet whose output concerned itself with traditional religion and who had been poetry editor of the Nation, has died at the age of 64.

He died Friday in San Francisco of unreported causes.

Logan, whose work was praised by colleagues and critics but remained largely unknown to the public, founded and edited the Chicago poetry magazine Choice in the early 1960s, and published numerous books of poetry and prose.

"He was considered one of the superb lyrical poets of his generation," said his publisher, A. Poulin Jr. "He referred to poetry as a ballet for the ear."

Logan moved to San Francisco three years ago from Buffalo, N.Y., where he was an English professor at the State University of New York from 1966 to 1985. Earlier, he taught English for 12 years at Notre Dame.

Logan also taught at the University of Chicago and was director of the Poetry Seminar there.

Study of Other Poets

The anthology "Contemporary Poets" takes note of Logan's exploration of the spiritual and artistic lives of such other poets as Rimbaud and Keats, "not to mention a host of religious figures."

His poetry, says the anthology, "evinces a remarkable quality of tenderness, of genuine love of creation." But he also was known for his puns and parodies and considered Ogden Nash an important influence.

In addition to such works of verse as "Cycle for Mother Cabrini," "Spring of the Thief" and "The Anonymous Lover," he was the author of a play, "Of Poems, Youth and Spring," and a novel, "The House That Jack Built: or, a Portrait of the Artist as a Sad Sensualist."

"He was extremely involved with his students and the people he cared for," Logan's son, Peter, who lives in Albany, Calif., said.

"He was the best reader of poetry in the country. He was very melodic; it was like going to a concert to hear him read."

Logan was given a National Endowment for the Arts grant in 1966 and '68, won the Miles Modern Poetry Award in 1967 and was awarded a Rockefeller grant in 1968.

Burial services were held Monday in Berkeley.

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