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Laing, Alexander K., 1903-1976



  • Existence: 1903 - 1976

David Kinnan Laing was born on August 7, 1903, in Great Neck, Long Island, NY. He graduated from Dartmouth College in 1925, and until 1926, worked as the Technical Editor of the "Radio News." From 1926 to 1928, he served as an ordinary seaman on the S.S. Leviathan, traveling through the Panama Canal to the Pacific Ocean. After completion of his service he returned to Dartmouth College in 1929, and was hired as a tutorial advisor in the English department while working on his own poetry and writings. That same year he received the Walt Whitman Prize for Poetry. From 1930 to 1934 he was the advisor to the arts at Dartmouth, and after his divorce from his first wife Isabel Lattimore Frost in 1934, he sailed, for a year, as a Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellow for Creative Writing Abroad around the world, conducting an ethnographic study of peoples in the Pacific. In 1936, he married Dilys Bennet and in 1937, he became the Assistant Librarian at the Dartmouth College Library, a position he held until 1950. During that time he also served as the Director of the Public Affairs Laboratory of the Great Issues Course at Dartmouth College. After Dilys died in 1960, he married Veronica Ruzicka in 1961, and continued his affiliation with Dartmouth College as a lecturer in the English department (1965) and as a Professor of Belles Lettres (1966-1968). He retired in 1968, with emeritus status and died in Hanover on April 23, 1976.

Found in 2 Collections and/or Records:

Alexander Laing papers

Identifier: ML-53
Overview Alexander Kinnan Laing (1903-1976), poet and librarian. Dartmouth College Class of 1925. The collection consists of manuscripts, correspondence, photographs, clippings, financial documents, memorabilia, sketches and writings by his late wife Dilys, journals, lecture materials, financial documents, research materials and audio recordings documenting his life as an author, professor, librarian, and political activist.

"Paroles" by Jacques Prevert collection

Identifier: MS-826
Overview "Paroles" by Jacques Prevert collection. The collection contains Dilys Laing's translation of the poems into English. Also contains typescript drafts of translations of several of the poems as well as correspondence between Alexander Laing and Herbert Faulkner West.