November 19, 2010
Jack Stadler, longtime board member (beginning in 1961) and treasurer of the Poetry Society of America from 1966-1994, died in Westchester this past Friday, November 12th. Jack and his wife Ralynn were beloved members of the PSA community and are pictured here at PSA Awards ceremonies and assorted events over the decades together and with their children, John and Anne.
In 1981, he founded the annual Poet-in-Residence Program, Poetry Seminars, and Writing Seminars for Young Poets at Bucknell University in Lewisburg, Pennsylvania. The Stadler Center for Poetry, located in the University's Bucknell Hall, was dedicated in1988.
In 1984, he was awarded the PSA's highest honor, the Frost Medal, in recognition of his distinguished service to literature.
The captions to the photographs are taken from PSA Bulletins. The one that refers to Ralynn as "PSA Treasurer Jack Stadler's treasure" is dated 1968, the year that Jack established the distinguished Cecil Hemley Memorial Award "for an unpublished lyric poem on a philosophical theme."
The list of winners includes Terese Svoboda, Shirley Kaufman, Jane Hirshfield, Jeffrey Skinner, Edward Kleinschmidt, and, most recently, Joelle Biele, editor of the forthcoming volume of correspondence, "Elizabeth Bishop and The New Yorker," which will be featured at our PSA event in honor of Elizabeth Bishop's Centenary on her birthday, February 8th, in 2011, at the Great Hall at Cooper Union.
Molly Peacock, President Emeritus of the PSA, describes Jack Stadler as "a dear, dear man" who "saved the life of the Poetry Society again and again."
"Whenever, he walked into a room at the Poetry Society," she writes, "I suddenly felt calm. He was understanding, responsive, and solid. I am grateful to have known him."
Elise Paschen, PSA Executive Director from 1988-2001, called him "a gentleman from another era...elegant, kind, and generous."
I, too, feel he was one of the loveliest men I've ever met. We had several delightful lunches and many conversations and he always expressed his complete dedication to the PSA. He will be missed by many and leaves a glorious legacy in literature.
Ralynn Stalder, PSA Treasurer (right) Jack Stadler's treasure. (1968)
The Stadlers (Ralynn and Jack) enjoying the summer sun, in their country home at Westhampton Beach, Long Island, NY. (1961)
Treasurer's Treasure: Jack Stadler, PSA Treasurer, brought two girls: his wife, Ralynn (left), and his enchanted daughter Anne. (1965)
PSA Treasurer Jack Stadler seemingly approves of son John's Drink. (1971)