Carl Sandburg

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General Information

Sandburg Carl.jpg
Name: Carl Sandburg

Pen Name: Carl (August) Sandburg, Militant, Jack Philips, Charles Sandburg, Charles A. Sandburg, and Carl Sandberg

Illinois Poet Laureate - 1962-1967

Genre: Poetry

Born: January 6, 1878 in Galesburg, Illinois

Died: July 22, 1967 in Flat Rock, North Carolina


Photo Credit: CC-BY Freebase

Illinois Connection

Sandburg was born and raised in Galesburg. His ashes are buried beneath Remembrance Rock at his birth home - the Carl Sandburg State Historic Site. This site was dedicated as a Literary Landmark on April 25, 2015.

Biographical and Professional Information

Carl Sandburg was born Carl August Sandburg. His parents were Swedish immigrants, and his family was so poor that when he finished eighth grade he went to work full time. Sandburg spent many years traveling around the American West working at a wide variety of jobs, including bootblack, harvester, hotel dishwasher, and newspaper reporter.

After fighting in the Spanish-American War, he went to Lombard College in his hometown. Although he did very well, he did not take his final exams and returned to being a hobo for several more years. At age 30, he settled down and put his years of traveling and learning American folksongs and stories to good use in this writing.

One of America's best-loved poets, Sandburg was also a popular folklorist and a biographer of Lincoln. He is also famous for his book, Rootabaga Stories, written for his daughters. His Abraham Lincoln biography has come to be considered an American epic. He won two Pulitzer Prizes, one for his poetry and another for a biography of Abraham Lincoln. Sandburg also served as Illinois' second Poet Laureate from 1962 until his death in 1967.

Published Works

Originally published under the name: Charles Sandburg

  • In Reckless Ecstasy, 1904
  • Incidentals, 1904
  • Plaint of a Rose, 1908
  • Joseffy, 1910
  • You and Your Job, 1910

Published under the name: Carl Sandburg

  • Chicago Poems, 1916
  • Cornhuskers, 1918
  • Chicago Race Riots, 1919
  • Clarence Darrow of Chicago, 1919
  • Smoke and Steel, 1920
  • Rootabaga Stories, 1922
  • Slabs of the Sunburnt West, 1922
  • Rootabaga Pigeons, 1923
  • Selected Poems, 1926
  • Abraham Lincoln: The Prairie Years, 1926
  • The American Songbag, 1927
  • Songs of America, 1927
  • Abe Lincoln Grows Up, 1928
  • Good Morning, America, 1928
  • Steichen the Photographer, 1929
  • Early Moon, 1930
  • Potato Face, 1930
  • Mary Lincoln: Wife and Widow, 1932
  • The People, Yes, 1936
  • Abraham Lincoln: The War Years, Harcourt, 1939
  • Storm over the Land, 1942
  • Home Front Memo, 1943
  • Remembrance Rock, 1948
  • Lincoln Collector: The Story of the Oliver R. Barrett Lincoln Collection, 1949
  • The New American Songbag, 1950
  • Complete Poems, 1950
  • The Wedding Procession of the Rag Doll and the Broom Handle and Who Was In It, 1950
  • Always the Young Strangers, 1953
  • Prairie-Town Boy, 1955
  • Sandburg Range, 1957
  • Harvest Poems, 1910-1960, Harvest Books, 1960
  • Wind Song, 1960
  • Carl Sandburg at Gettysburg, 1961
  • Honey and Salt, Harvest Books, 1963
  • Chicago Race Riots, Revised Edition, Harcourt, 1969
  • Abe Lincoln Grows Up, Voyager Books, 1975
  • Early Moon, Harvest Books, 1978
  • The People, Yes, Harvest Books, 1990
  • Billy Sunday and Other Poems, Harcourt, 1993
  • Ever the Winds of Chance, University of Illinois Press, 1999
  • Sandburg Range, Harvest Books, 2000
  • The Family of Man, The Museum of Modern Art, 2002
  • More Rootabaga Stories, Harcourt Young Classics, 2003
  • Complete Poems, Harcourt, 2003
  • Smoke and Steel, Kessinger Publishing, 2004
  • The Huckabuck Family: How They Raised Popcorn in Nebraska and Quit and Came Back, Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2004
  • Breathing Tokens, Eastern National Park and Monument Assoc., 2005
  • Slabs of the Sunburnt West, Kessinger Publishing, LLC, 2007
  • Poetry for Young People, Sterling, 2008

Titles at Your Library

Rootabaga Stories (1922)

ISBN: 1436607442
Release Date: 2008-06-02

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Abraham Lincoln: The War Years Vol 4

ISBN: 0151016070
Release Date: 1939-12-01

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Harvest Poems: 1910-1960

ISBN: 0156391252
Release Date: 1960-04-11

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Honey and Salt

ISBN: 0156421658
Release Date: 1967-04-12

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Chicago Race Riots: Revised

ISBN: 0151171505
Release Date: 1969-08-27

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Abe Lincoln Grows Up

ISBN: 0156026155
Release Date: 1975-04-09

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The Wedding Procession of the Rag Doll and the Broom Handle and Who Was in It

ISBN: 0156954877
Release Date: 1978-10-04

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Early Moon (Voyager/HBJ Book)

ISBN: 0156273268
Release Date: 1978-04-18

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Carl Sandburg at the Movies: A Poet in the Silent Era 1920-1927

ISBN: 0810817381
Release Date: 1995-05-23

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The American Songbag

ISBN: 015605650X
Release Date: 1990-10-29

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The People, Yes

ISBN: 0156716658
Release Date: 1990-06-04

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Prairie-Town Boy (Odyssey Classic)

ISBN: 0152633324
Release Date: 1990-08-24

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Remembrance Rock

ISBN: 0156763907
Release Date: 1991-11-15

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Always the Young Strangers

ISBN: 0156047659
Release Date: 1991-11-15

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Billy Sunday And Other Poems

ISBN: 0151621306
Release Date: 1993-10-15

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Mary Lincoln: Wife and Widow

ISBN: 1557092486
Release Date: 1995-04-01

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Ever the Winds of Chance: POEMS

ISBN: 0252068483
Release Date: 1999-12-01

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The Movies Are : Carl Sandburg's Film Reviews and Essays, 1920-1928

ISBN: 1893121054
Release Date: 2000-10-01

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Rootabaga Pigeons (Rootabaga Stories)

ISBN: 1557095094
Release Date: 2001-07-01

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The Family Of Man

ISBN: 0870703412
Release Date: 2002-07-02

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Abraham Lincoln: The Prairie Years and The War Years

ISBN: 0156027526
Release Date: 2002-11-01

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Rootabaga Stories

ISBN: 015204714X
Release Date: 2003-04-01

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More Rootabaga Stories

ISBN: 0152047131
Release Date: 2003-04-01

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Smoke and Steel

ISBN: 0766199444
Release Date: 2004-12-01

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ISBN: 1419114085
Release Date: 2004-06-17

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Slabs Of The Sunburnt West

ISBN: 0548397155
Release Date: 2007-08-29

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Chicago Poems

ISBN: 1420931091
Release Date: 2008-01-01

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Literary Awards


  • Pulitzer Prize for Poetry, 1919

Abraham Lincoln: The War Years

  • Pulitzer Prize for History, 1940

Complete Poems

  • Pulitzer Prize for Poetry, 1951

Abraham Lincoln

  • Finalist, National Book Award Non-Fiction, 1955

Other Awards

  • Illinois Poet Laureate 1962 - 1967
  • Illinois Author of the Year, Illinois Association of Teachers of English, 1984
  • Name engraved on the frieze of the Illinois State Library alongside other great Illinois literary figures, 1990

External Links

Carl Sandburg on WorldCat

Carl Sandburg on the State of Illinois' Illinois Poet Laureate Website


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