December 9, 2011
To Members of the Bowdoin Community,
I am writing with the sad news that former Professor of English Herb Coursen passed away at his home in Brunswick last week from a heart attack.
Born in Newark, NJ, on March 28, 1932, Herb graduated from Amherst College in 1954. He served in the U.S. Air Force from 1954 to 1958 as a captain and a fighter pilot. He received a Master of Arts degree in English in 1962 from Wesleyan, where he was a University Fellow, and a Ph.D. from the University of Connecticut in 1965. Herb joined the faculty at Bowdoin in 1964 and taught in the English Department until 1992. He later taught at the University of Maine in Augusta. A widely published Shakespearean scholar, essayist, and poet, Herb wrote 16 books and numerous articles and reviews on the interpretation and performance of Shakespeare’s works, 35 novels and stories, and more than 30 collections of poetry. He maintained a passionate interest in baseball, politics, and writing throughout his life. He had served as Director of Education in Northeastern US for the Shakespeare Globe Centre (London), and was a member of the Marlowe Society, the Shakespeare Association of America, the New England Poet’s Club, and Veterans for Peace. The College community offers its condolences to Herb’s three daughters, four grandchildren, and two brothers, and to his friends and colleagues. There has been no announcement of services.