Other literary forms

(Poets and Poetry in America)

Best known for his poetry, Donald Justice also wrote plays, short stories, critical essays, reviews, and the libretto for Edward J. Miller’s opera The Young God. His stories “The Lady” and “Vineland’s Burning,” first published in Western Review, were included in the O. Henry Awards Prize Stories of 1950 and 1954. Both portray characters who are locked inside themselves; like a number of Justice’s poems, these stories discover the humanity of people who might be overlooked as uninteresting or dismissed as insane. The nonfiction Platonic Scripts (1984) is a collection of essays and interviews; Justice’s criticism and reviews demonstrate the same concern for craftsmanship that characterizes his own poetry and fiction.