“An Evening With Carl Sandburg,” State College of Iowa, 1963

Two-time Pulitzer Prize winning poet Carl Sandburg, then age 85, was a guest performer at the State College of Iowa in Cedar Falls when I was a freshman. Sixty years ago.

From “The College Eye,” February 22, 1963, page 1

This sold-out concert, “An Evening With Carl Sandburg,”  according to the February 15, 1963 edition of  The College Eye, was a special addition to the scheduled 1962-63 Lecture Concert Series.

“Mr. Sandburg’s visit to campus will probably mark his last tour in the Midwest,” said Dr. Howard Jones, committee chairman.

Carl Sandburg’s concert of reciting poetry, lecture and singing folk songs was held February 22, 1963, in the old Auditorium.

Mary Furlong, Feature Editor of The College Eye, wrote in the March 1 edition that Carl Sandburg was relaxed during the concert, “with a blanket spread over his lap, his long white hair slipping down.”

Sandburg’s biography, Abraham Lincoln: The War Years, won the Pulitzer Prize for history in 1940.

He won the 1951 Pulitzer Prize for poetry for his Complete Poems.

The amazing thing was that I was there that night.  Carl Sandburg may be the most famous man I’ve seen in person, other than two U.S. Presidents. Certainly he is the only one with a Pulitzer Prize. Or two.

A reader asked whether there might be a recording of Sandburg singing. I found this.


  1. How exciting! Sandburg had a house about half an hour from us in Flat Rock, NC, and I was able to visit it. He had a book-filled but very cluttered office–much like mine! The house had been the summer home of Confederate Secretary of the Treasury Christopher Memminger, who is buried not far away in Hendersonville, NC.

    • I thought about why I didn’t go to more of these events, but only my freshman year was paid for. The next year I had three jobs to make ends meet, then had to work to make it through school, the first in my family to graduate from college.

  2. I visited his farm in North Carolina a few years ago. Had the Docent take my picture peeking into his writing room… a treasure, for sure.

    • Sharon, I know what you mean. During the worst years of fibromyalgia, I didn’t think I’d ever be able to write again. I got rid of all my poetry books! I’ve already bought the Ted Kooser books again, and I’m working through his delightful “The Poetry Home Repair Manual” again.

  3. Make it four ! We made a brief visit to the farm in Flat Rock, NC, about 20 miles south of us. A beautiful property with lots of goats in 2008. Bob

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