Nicholas Teynac Joost, Jr., was born May 28, 1916, in Jacksonville, Florida. He was the son of Nicholas Teynac Joost, a businessman, and of Margaret Wrigley. Dr. Joost received his early education at the Robert E.Lee High School in Jacksonville. He then earned a B.S.S. from Georgetown University in 1938, and an M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of North Carolina in 1939 and 1947, respectively. During World War II, Dr. Joost served in the U.S. Army Air Forces, 1942-1945.
Dr. Joost began his academic teaching career as an instructor in English literature at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois, 1947-1949. From 1949-1954, he was assistant professor at Loyola University, Chicago; from 1954-1958, he was associate professor at Assumption College, Worcester, Massachusetts; and from 1958 until his death in 1980, Dr. Joost was professor of English at the Southern Illinois University, Edwardsville. From 1960 until 1963 he was head of SIU's Humanities Division, which he organized.
In addition to his formal academic responsibilities, Dr. Joost acted for numerous other academic and literary associations. In 1954 he was an editorial consultant to the Bollingen Foundation; from 1963-1964 he was a Fullbright lecturer at the University of Nijmegen in the Netherlands. Dr.Joost was also the judge for the quarterly poetry contest of the hospitalized Veterans Writing Project (from 1954 until some time in the1960s); member of the board of commissioners of the Hayner District library, Alton, Illinois (1969-1980); and a member of the board of directors for the Lewis and Clark Library, Edwardsville, Illinois (1971),becoming president in 1973. Finally, Dr. Joost was also a member of the following organizations, for which he maintained files of information and correspondence available in this collection: the Modern Language association of America; American Studies Association, of which he was president 1965-1966 for the Mid continent branch; the Catholic Renascence society; the William Clark Society; St. Louis Westerners; and Delta Epsilon sigma, the bulletin of the National Catholic Honor Society, for which Dr.Joost served as national president from 1957-1958.
It was in 1956 that Dr. Joost began to write about The Dial. He was asked by Francis Henry Taylor to write a book about the magazine to accompany a major exhibition of artwork originally published by The Dial.Known as the Dial Collection, this artwork was housed at the Worcester Museum in Massachusetts. Taylor had just retired from the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, and returned to direct the Worcester Museum.Preparations were halted in 1957 with Taylor's death; however the exhibition was opened under the new director, Daniel Catton Rich, in 1959.The book written by Dr. Joost (eventually published by the Southern Illinois University Press, 1963) was entitled, 'The Dial in the Twenties.' Its focus was on the period 1920 to 1929 when the magazine was edited by Scofield Thayer and James Sibley Watson, and was considered the most prominent avant-garde journal of the time. This book is the immediate predecessor to a second major work by Dr. Joost, entitled 'Scofield Thayer and The Dial' (SIU Press, 1964). Other books on the subject comprise a prominent part of Dr. Joost's literary undertakings, they include: Years of transition: 'The Dial' 1912-1920 (Barre Publishers, 1967); Ernest Hemingway and the Little Magazines: the Paris Years (Barre, 1968); D.H. Lawrence and'The Dial' (SIU Press, 1970); and 'The Dial': Two Author Indexes (SIU Press, 1971) compiled with Alvin Sullivan.
Dr. Joost was also a member of the editorial staff for several prestigious literary journals including Poetry magazine (acting editor, 1953-1954); Papers on English Language and Literature, later called Papers on Language and Literature (editor, 1965-1973 ). The recipient of numerous awards and honors, Dr. Joost has been presented with grants from the Bollingen Foundation (1958-1958) and the Chapelbrook Foundation (1970-1971); faculty awards from SIU (1960 and1972); service award from Delta Epsilon Sigma (1963); and the Chicago Book Clinic Award 1964, for Scofield Thayer and 'The Dial .'
Dr. Joost died in his hometown of Jacksonville, Florida, on March 23, 1980. He is survived by his wife, Laura A. Reed and children, Anna, Mary Eliza and Nicholas.