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Obituaries

Helen S. Bevington; Poet, English Professor

March 26, 2001

Helen Smith Bevington, 94, an author, poet, English professor and tireless traveler. The author of 12 books of poetry and essays, Bevington's light verse and memoirs plumbed her vast life. She wrote of world travels, her romance and marriage to Merle M. Bevington, and even the small-town love affairs of her Methodist minister father. Her book, "Charley Smith's Girl," detailing her father's infidelities, was banned by the library in Worcester, N.Y., where she grew up. Her 1996 memoir, "The Third and Only Way," contemplates her father's death and her son's suicide. Born in Afton, N.Y., she received a bachelor's degree from the University of Chicago. She met her future husband during graduate studies at Columbia. The couple settled in Durham, N.C., where she joined the Duke University faculty, teaching there from 1943 to 1976. Of being banned in Worchester she once said: "It's a dear place to me. . . . It's an honor to be banned there." On March 16 in Chicago.

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