In Memoriam: Donald Junkins, Professor Emeritus of English

Donald Junkins
Donald Junkins

Donald Junkins, professor emeritus of English, died at 89 years old on Thursday, April 15, in Irvine, Calif.

An expert on Ernest Hemingway, Junkins spent nearly 30 years teaching at UMass Amherst, serving as director of the MFA for Poets and Writers program from 1970-79 and from 1989-90.

A founding member of The Hemingway Society, Junkins was known to strongly defended Hemingway against charges of misogyny and his alleged bad treatment of women in his literature. In 1990, he made a splash when he claimed to have discovered a previously unknown Hemingway short story. “Philip Haines Was a Writer: was transcribed by Junkins and printed in the April 1990 “The Hemingway Review.”

A poet and writer himself, Junkins published more than 20 books of poetry, translations and several novels. He also served as a co-editor of poetry for the “Massachusetts Review” from 1968 to 1972.

Prior to his time teaching at UMass Amherst, Junkins taught at California University at Chico and Emerson College. He also had the opportunity to teach in Germany and the Ukraine,and received a Fulbright Award to teach at Xiamen University in China in 1993.

He earned his bachelor’s degree from UMass Amherst and went on to earn a number of degrees, including two master’s degrees and a Ph.D. from Boston University. While he was a student at UMass Amherst, Junkins played defensive halfback for the football team.

Born in Saugus, Mass., on Dec. 19, 1931, Junkins spent several decades living in the communities around Amherst and had moved to California in the last few years.

Junkins leaves behind his wife, Kaimei Zheng; his former wife, Mardie Luppold; sons Danieland Theodore Junkins; a stepson, Yunwei Chen; and six grandchildren.

Read more about Donald Junkins in the Boston Globe or Greenfield Recorder.