Photo: Dale Robbins

Philip Appleman


Philip Appleman is a renowned poet, novelist, and editor whose writing spans themes of religion, morality, love and Darwin.  Known for his incisive social commentary and poetic imagination, Appleman has authored nine books of poetry, three novels, and six volumes of non-fiction. Much of Appleman’s most acclaimed work explores the life and theories of 19th century naturalist Charles Darwin. A scholar of Darwin, Appleman edited the critical anthology Darwin, and wrote the poetry books Darwin’s Ark and Darwin’s Bestiary, earning him praise for illuminating the “overwhelming sanity” of Darwin’s thought with clarity and wit.

Other distinguished works include New and Selected Poems, Let There Be Light, Open Doorways, Summer Love and Surf, and Karma, Dharma, Pudding & Pie. His most recent book, Perfidious Proverbs, is a collection of satirical poems that expose the potential folly and hypocrisies of religion in our culture.

Appleman’s prolific writing has won him numerous awards, including a fellowship in poetry from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Castagnola Award from the Poetry Society of America, a Friend of Darwin Award from the National Center for Science Education, and the Humanist Arts Award from the American Humanist Association. His poetry and fiction have appeared in scores of publications including Harper’s Magazine, The Nation, New Republic, The New York Times, Paris Review, Poetry, Sewanee Review, and Yale Review.

Born in Indiana in 1926, Appleman went on to earn degrees from Northwestern University, the University of Michigan, and the University of Lyon. He served in the U.S. Army Air Corps during World War II and in the Merchant Marine after the war. After his many years as a distinguished Professor of English at Indiana University, Appleman moved to New York where he currently resides with his wife Marjorie, a playwright and his companion of 62 years.