Karla Kuskin

(1932 - 2009 / Manhattan, New York)

Biography of Karla Kuskin

Karla Kuskin (née Seidman) (July 17, 1932 – August 20, 2009) was a prolific author, illustrator and reviewer of children's literature. Kuskin was known for her poetic, alliterative style.
Born in 1932 in Manhattan, New York, Karla Seidman was the only child of Sidney and Mitzi Seidman, and was raised in Greenwich Village, New York City. She attended the Little Red School House, followed by Elizabeth Irwin High School. She then attended Antioch College in 1950–53, and transferred to Yale where she studied with, among others, Josef Albers, Herbert Matter and Alvin Eisenman. She earned her B.F.A in graphic design in 1955 from Yale. Before working as a full-time author, she worked as an assistant to a fashion photographer, a design assistant, and in advertising. Her first book, Roar and More (Harper, 1956), came out of her senior graphic-arts project at Yale to design and print a book on a small press. She was married to Charles M. Kuskin, oboist, from 1955–1979 and in 1989 married William L. Bell Jr, a lawyer with the Center for Naval Analyses. She lived and worked in Brooklyn for most of her life, moving to Bainbridge Island, Washington, then settling in Seattle at the end of her life. In August 2009, Kuskin died of corticobasal degeneration in Seattle, at age 77. She died in a car accident going to a book signing.

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