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 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 to 1954, he was assistant professor at Loyola University, Chicago; from 1954 to 1958, he was associate professor at Assumption College, Worcester, Massachusetts; and from 1958 until his death in 1980. From 1960 to 1963, Dr. Joost was professor of English at the Southern Illinois University (SIU), Edwardsville, where he also headed the Humanities Division, which he had established.
In addition to his formal academic responsibilities, Dr. Joost acted for numerous other academic and literary associations. He was an editorial consultant to the Bollingen Foundation (1954), and Fulbright lecturer at the University of Nijmegen in the Netherlands (1963-1964). 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.
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 for the mid-continent branch (1965-1966); 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 (1957-1958).
In 1956 Dr. Joost was asked by Francis Henry Taylor to write a book about the Dial magazine, to coincide with 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, “The Dial in the Twenties,” by Dr. Joost, was eventually published by the Southern Illinois University Press (1963). 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. Subsequent books by Dr. Joost on the Dial include: “Scofiled Thayer and the Dial” (Southern Illinois University Press, 1964); “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” (Southern Illinois University Press, 1970); and “The Dial: Two Author Indexes,” compiled with Alvin Sullivan (Southern Illinois University Press, 1971).
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 Southern Illinois University (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 was survived by his wife, Laura A. Reed and children, Anna, Mary Eliza, and Nicholas.
Source: Contemporary Authors: Cumulative Index, volumes 1-128 (Gale research Inc., 1990).