Ben Belitt, an American poet and translator, is shown in this layout for an undated Richmond Times Dispatch Sunday Magazine piece. The photo at right shows Belitt in 1938, when he began his fifty-year career as professor of comparative literature at Bennington College in Bennington, Vermont. The facing photo was taken in 1955.
As a young boy, the New York City-born Belitt moved to Lynchburg. He received two degrees from the University of Virginia, and was a doctoral candidate from 1934 until 1936. Belitt published eight books of his own poetry, two books of essays, and numerous translations, notably of the Spanish-language poets Jorge Luis Borges, Federico García Lorca, and Pablo Neruda. This Scribe, My Hand, his complete poems, was published in 1998. Belitt's reputation is that of a vital and gifted poet who did not receive the recognition he deserved.