We consider the problem of the dynamic, transient propagation of a semi-infinite, mode I crack in an infinite elastic body with a nonlinear, viscoelastic cohesize zone. Our problem formulation includes boundary conditions that preclude crack face interpenetration, in contrast to the usual mode I boundary conditions that assume all unloaded crack faces are stress-free. The nonlinear viscoelastic cohesive zone behavior is motivated by dynamic fracture in brittle polymers in which crack propagation is preceeded by significant crazing in a thin region surrounding the crack tip. We present a combined analytical/numerical solution method that involves reducing the problem to a Dirichlet-to-Neumann map along the crack face plane, resulting in a differo-integral equation relating the displacement and stress along the crack faces and within the cohesive zone. © 2009 Springer Science+Business Media B.V.