1981 Notable Authors

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John Frederic Bennett
Charles King
Ellen Raskin

John Frederic Bennett, 1920-1991

1920-1991. St. Norbert College, Professor of English, 1968-70; Bernard H. Pennings Distinguished Professor of English, 1970- ; Poet in Residence, 1979- .

Born in Pittsfield, Massachusetts, John Bennett completed his undergraduate work at Oberlin College. His M.A. and Ph.D. are from the University of Wisconsin, Madison. Since 1968 he has been on the staff at St. Norbert College in De Pere.

His poetry has appeared in many publications including The New Yorker, the New York Times, the Chicago Daily News and the Wisconsin Academy Review, to name a few. His poems are in many anthologies and he has given poetry readings in colleges across the nation.

Chad Walsh has said of him that "the angle of vision is unique among contemporary poets". His work combines an emotional as well as an intellectual breadth that comes out of his religious and scholarly backgrounds.


  • Poetry Prize, Oberlin College, 1947 and 1948.
  • Devins Memorial Award, 1970.
  • Chicago Book Clinic Award, 1971
  • Society of Midland Authors Poetry Award, 1971 and 1979.
  • Midwestern Book of the Year, 1971.
  • Printing Industries of America Award, 1971.

Selected Books:

  • Fire in the Dust, 1980.
  • Seeds of Mustard, Seeds of Tare, 1979.
  • Echoes from the Peaceable Kingdom, 1978.
  • The Struck Leviathan, 1970.

Charles King, 1844-1933

1844-1933. Milwaukee, Madison, Delafield.
Soldier: U.S. Army and Wisconsin National Guard (Adjutant General)
Instructor: West Point, Delafield Academy
Professor of Military Science, University of Wisconsin

Charles King had a distinguished career as a soldier for 76 years and is known as the "father of the Wisconsin National Guard" which he molded from a semi-military and semi-social organization into a first-rate military unit. He was one of the most prolific and popular writers of his time. Between 1880 and 1914 he wrote over sixty books which deal mainly with army life on the western frontier. He wrote quickly with a formula for his novels that incorporated field action and Victorian romance.

While King is not remembered for the literary merit of his books, his work has enduring value for historians who are able to reconstruct the life and manners of the frontier army of the seventies and eighties.


  • Silver Star and Citation for Gallant and Distinguished Conduct.

Selected Books:

  • The Colonel's Daughter, 1883
  • A War-Time Wooing, 1888
  • Campaigning With Crook, 1890
  • The Iron Brigade, 1902
  • An Apache Princess, 1903
  • The True Ulysses S. Grant, 1914

Ellen Raskin, 1928-1984

1928-1984. Milwaukee, Madison, New York. Author, artist, designer, illustrator.

Ellen Raskin's philosophy is embodied in this quotation: "I try to say one thing with my work: a book is a wonderful place to be. A book is a package, a gift package, a surprise package - and within the wrappings is a whole new world and beyond." She is currently working on a book set in Wisconsin "where her heart is."

Mrs. Raskin began her career as a freelance artist designing and illustrating over 1,000 book jackets and close to two dozen books written by others. She has written and illustrated 16 books for children.

The Westing Game is probably her most famous book having won the 1979 Newbery Award, the Banta Literary Award and the Boston Globe-Horn Book Award for fiction. It was also named an American Library Association Notable Book.

Additional Honors:

  • Mystery Writers of America Edgar Allan Poe Special Award, 1976.
    Newbery Honor Book, 1975

Selected Books:

  • The Mysterious Disappearance of Leon (I Mean Noel), 1971.
  • Figgs and Phantoms, 1973.
  • The Tattooed Potato and Other Clues, 1975.
  • The Westing Game, 1978..