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Myra CohnLivingston

Both through her poetry and her teaching, Myra Cohn Livingston inspired children to explore the music of language. Livingston began writing poetry at Sarah Lawrence College and had her first poem published in 1946. She moved to California, where she wrote book reviews and served as an assistant to both Dinah Shore and Jascha Heifetz. In 1958 she began teaching in the Dallas public library and school system. That year she also published her first collection, Whispers and Other Poems, eventually writing more than twenty collections for children and adults, as well as several books on writing poetry. She edited collections of poetry, insisting on publishing poems in their original language with accompanying translation, so those who understood the language could enjoy the poems as originally written. In her own poetry, she explored a variety of forms, from cinquains and haikus to free verse. After returning to California, she served as Poet in Residence for the Beverly Hills Unified School District from 1966–1984, and also acted as a poetry consultant for publishers and the National Council of Teachers of English, among other organizations. In 1961 she founded the Children’s Literature Council of Southern California, which offers an annual award in her name.


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Children's author Myra Cohn Livingston with her dog, Taran.
Photograph by Marilyn Sanders, courtesy of Rita Berman Frischer.
Date of Birth

Omaha, NE
United States

Date of Death

How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Myra Cohn Livingston." (Viewed on November 29, 2020) <https://jwa.org/people/livingston-myra>.


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