Biographies Harry Behn (1898-1973)

Harry Behn was born September 24, 1898, in Yavapai County, Arizona. He graduated from Harvard University with an S.B. in 1922. He worked as a scenario writer for motion pictures and was chiefly associated with King Vidor’s films. Behn taught writing at the University of Arizona from 1938 to 1947 and founded the University of Arizona Press in 1960. He published his first book of poetry, Siesta, in 1931, and, at the urging of his children, began writing children’s books. In 1949, he published The Little Hill, a book of poetry for children. Behn wrote and translated poetry for children, especially haiku, and drew on the poetic heritage of Robert Louis Stevenson in his use of the “child’s voice,” as well as on what critics called “a thread of transcendentalism.” He also wrote fiction for older children and young adults, including The Faraway Lurs (1963). Behn illustrated many of his works and received several graphic arts- awards for his artwork. He died on September 6, 1973.

Selected Works at the Library of Congress