Rod McKuen was one of the best-selling poets in America during the late '60s, and also achieved considerable success as a songwriter, soundtrack composer, and singer. McKuen's recordings alternated between poetic pop songs and spoken word readings of his verse, and his more serious composition work earned him two Oscar nominations and one Pulitzer nomination. Additionally, his translations helped bring the work of legendary Belgian songwriter Jacques Brel to prominence in English-speaking countries. His literary work often dealt with themes of love, nature, and spirituality, and critics didn't always accept it, some deriding it as simplistic and sentimental. However, even as his initial flower-child audience grew older, McKuen remained as popular as he was prolific, selling millions of copies of his books (having written upward of 30) and increasingly becoming the subject of academic study.