Past Roethke Readers

Files on the early Roethke Readings are absent or incomplete.  Beginning with the Richard Wilbur reading in 1971, copies of the press releases sent to local news media are available and are reproduced below.  With few exceptions, the press releases present a blandly factual account of works and honors, with no attempt to evaluate or analyze the nature of the poets or their poetry.  They do, however, provide a picture of where the poets were in their careers when they were invited to give the Roethke Reading, and show that Roethke readers include a good many Pulitzer Prizes, MacArthur Fellowships, and National Book Awards among their accomplishments.

The accompanying pictures are for the most part those submitted at the time by the poets for use in publicity flyers.  From 1975 through 1979, Betty Bigelow, a local artist, produced handsome line drawings of the poets, based on their publicity photos, for use in the Roethke Reading announcements.

1960s

1964: John Crowe Ransom
1965: Robert Lowell
1966: Rolfe Humphries
1967: Archibald MacLeish
1968: Robert Penn Warren
1969: John Berryman

1970s

1970: Howard Nemerov
1971: Richard Wilbur
1972: James Wright
1973: David Wagoner
1974: Elizabeth Bishop
1975: Stanley Kunitz
1976: Gary Snyder
1977: Richard Hugo
1978: Muriel Rukeyser
1979: William Stafford

1980s

1980: Philip Levine
1981: Donald Justice
1982: Robert S. Fitzgerald
1983: W. S. Merwin
1984: Mona van Duyn
1985: Carolyn Kizer
1986: James Merrill
1987: Seamus Heaney
1988: Adrienne Rich
1989: May Swenson

1990s

1990: Denise Levertov
1991: Mark Strand
1992: Maxine Kumin
1993: Gerald Stern
1994: Galway Kinnell
1995: Richard Howard
1996: Lucille Clifton
1997: Charles Wright
1998: Jorie Graham
1999: Colleen J. McElroy

2000s

2000: J. D. McClatchy
2001: Tomaz Salamun
2002: Anthony Hecht
2003: X. J. Kennedy
2004: C. K. Williams
2005: Adam Zagajewski
2006: W. D. Snodgrass
2007: Robert Bly
2008: Mary Jo Salter and Brad Leithauser
2009: Paul Muldoon

2010s

2010: Gjertrud Schnackenberg
2011: D. A. Powell
2012: Heather McHugh
2013: Kay Ryan

1964
John Crowe Ransom

Links:
Academy of American Poets Ransom page

1965
Robert Lowell

Links:
Academy of American Poets Lowell page

1966
Rolfe Humphries

Links:
The Poetry Foundation Humphries page

1967
Archibald MacLeish

Links:
Roth Publishing's MacLeish page

1968
Robert Penn Warren

Links:
Academy of American Poets Warren page

1969
John Berryman

Links:
Academy of American Poets Berryman page

1970
Howard Nemerov

Links:
Academy of American Poets Nemerov page

1971
Richard Wilbur

From the 1971 Roethke Reading press release:

The Roethke Memorial Poetry Reading will be given by Richard Wilbur on Wednesday, May 26, at 8:00 p.m. in the Health Sciences Auditorium.

Richard Wilbur, an outstanding figure in American letters, is best known for his poetry, which has been published in six volumes, beginning with The Beautiful Changes in 1947.  His third volume, Things of This World (1956), won the National Book Award and the Pulitzer Prize, and this year for his latest book, Walking to Sleep, he was co-winner of the Bollingen Award.

He has also published translations of Moliere and editions of the poetry of Poe and Shakesepeare, and was co-author with Lillian Hellman of the comic opera Candide.  He has recently completed a translation of Moliere's The School for Wives, which will be published this fall [1971].

Wilbur was born in New York City in 1921.  He has an A.B. from Amherst College and an A.M. from Harvard.  He has taught at Harvard and at Wellesley College.  Since 1957 he has been Professor of English at Wesleyan University.

In Poets on Poetry Wilbur writes that one of the concerns of his poetry is "with the proper relation between the tangible world and the intuitions of the spirit.  The poems assume that such intuitions are, or may be, true; they incline, however, to favor a spirituality which is not abstracted, not dissociated adn world-renouncing.  A good part of my work could, I suppose, be understood as a public quarrel with the aesthetics of Edgar Allen Poe.... What poetry does with ideas is to redeem them from abstraction and submerge them with a weather of feeling; it thereby tests the ability of any ideas to consort with human nature in its contemporary condition."

Links:
Academy of American Poets Wilbur page

1972
James Wright

James Wright

From the 1972 Roethke Reading press release:

James Wright, Pulitzer Prize winning poet, will present the ninth annual Roethke Memorial Poetry Reading at 8 p.m. on May 25 in Roethke Auditorium.  Wright is one of the most distinguished poets among those who studied with the late Theodore Roethke.

Dedication ceremonies for Roethke Auditorium--completed last fall--will add another dimension to the annual event which honors Roethke, Pulitzer Prize winning former poet-in-residence at the University of Washington.

James Wright, who is Professor of English at Hunter College in New York City, was recently awarded the $10,000 Fellowship of the Academy of American Poets "for distinguished poetic achievement."  He received both his M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Washington.

Following publication of Wright's Collected Poems in 1971, Peter Stitt wrote in the New York Tiems that "our age desperately needs his vision of brotherly love, his transcendent sense of nature, the clarity of his courageous voice."  Wright won the Yale Series of Younger Poets competition in 1957 for his book of poems The Green Wall.  His many other awards include the Robert Frost Poetry Prize in his undergraduate days at Kenyon College, the Eunice Tietjens Memorial Prize in 1955, and Fulbright and Guggenheim Fellowships.

[James Wright was one of two Roethke readers (the other being Carolyn Kizer) whose Pulitzer Prize was awarded in the weeks before the reading, and press coverage of his visit included interviews in the Seattle Times and the UW Daily.]

Links:
Academy of American Poets James Wright page

1973
David Wagoner

David Wagoner

From the 1973 Roethke Reading press coverage:

The tenth annual Theodore Roethke Memorial Poetry Reading will be given this year by Professor David Wagoner reading from his own work. Wagoner, who was a student, friend, and colleague of Roethke, has taught at the University of Washington since 1954.  He is the author of six novels and seven volumes of poetry, and has edited selections from Roethke's notebooks.

Among Professor Wagoner's books are the following: Dry Sun, Dry Wind (poems); The Man in the Middle (novel); Money, Money, Money (novel); Rock (novel); A Place to Stand (poems); The Nesting Ground (poems); The Escape Artist (novel); Staying Alive (poems); Baby, Come On Inside (novel); New and Selected Poems; Where is My Wandering Boy Tonight (novel); Working Against Time (poems); Riverbed (poems); Straw for the Fire: From the Notebooks of Theodore Roethke, 1943-63.

In addition to his extensive publications, Wagoner is editor of Poetry Northwest, and his recently completed play, An Eye For An Eye For An Eye, was performed by the Department of Drama during late April and early May this year.

Links:
Academy of American Poets Wagoner page

1974
Elizabeth Bishop

Elizabeth Bishop

From the 1974 Roethke Reading press release:

The eleventh annual Theodore Roethke Memorial Poetry Reading will be given this year by Pulitzer Prize winning poet, Elizabeth Bishop, in the Roethke Auditorium on May 29 at 8 p.m.  Miss Bishop held the position of visiting poet in the Department of English at the University of Washington in 1966 and 1973, where she taught the Theodore Roethke poetry courses traditionally offered by distinguished visiting poets.

In 1955, she won the Pulitzer Prize for her volume of poetry entitled North and South.  Her other published books include Questions of Travel (1965), Selected Poems (1967), and The Complete Poems (1969, 1970).  Her work has also appeared in many anthologies and journals, including The New Yorker, New Republic, Poetry, and the Kenyon Review.

Miss Bishop's other awards include Guggenheim and Amy Lowell Fellowshiops, a Rockefeller Foundation Grant, National Book Award, Shelley Memorial Award, and an award from the Academy of Arts and Letters.  She served as Consultant in Poetry at the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C. from 1949-1950.  In 1956 Miss Bishop stopped in Brazil while traveling around the world and since that time has lived in Ouro Preto in the state of Minas Gerais when not teaching in the United States.  She recently received the Order of Rio Branco from the Brazilian government for her writing on life and arts in Brazil.

Born in Worcester, Massachusetts, Miss Bishop graduated from Vassar College in 1934 and holds honorary degrees from Smith College, Rutgers University, and Brown University.  She has taught verse writing and modern poetry classes at Harvard University since 1970.

Links:
Academy of American Poets Bishop page
Vassar's Bishop Web Site

1975
Stanley Kunitz

Drawing of Stanley Kunitz

From the 1975 Roethke Reading press release:

The twelfth annual Theodore Roethke Memorial Poetry Reading will be given this year by Pulitzer Prize winning poet Stanley Kunitz, in Roethke Auditorium, May 22, 8 p.m.

Distinguished poet, critic, and teacher, Stanley Kunitz received the Pulitzer Prize in 1959 for his volume Selected Poems: 1928-1958.  In addition to the Pulitzer, he is the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, a Ford Foundation grant, an Amy Lowell Travelling Fellowship and the Levinson Prize from Poetry magazine.  He was a Danforth lecturer in various colleges and universities from 1961 to 1963, and lectured in the USSR and Poland under a cultural exchange program in 1967.

Kunitz is the author of Intellectual Things, Passport to the War, and The Testing Tree, in addition to his Pulitzer Prize winning book.  His publications include a translation (with Max Hayward) entitled Poems of Anna Akhamatova (1973) and his poems have appeared in numerous anthologies and journals.   His most recent publication, A Kind of Order, A Kind of Folly, is a collection of prose writings including observations and interviews with such eminent literary figures as Andrei Vosnesensky.  He is currently working on a translation of Andrei Voznesenksy's Story Under Full Sail and another volume of verse, The Wellfleet Whale.

He has taught at various colleges and universities, including Bennington College (1946-49), Brandeis University (1958-59), Columbia University (1963-66), and Yale University (1970), where he has edited the Yale Series of Younger Poets.  He is currently Poetry Consultant at the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C., and was recently elected by the American Academy of Arts and Letters to succeed to the chair of John Crowe Ransom.

Theodore Roethke and Mr. Kunitz were close friends and in 1955 Roethke recommended his appointment as visiting poet at the University of Washington.  Of his poetry Roethke wrote, "Mr. Stanley Kunitz has a bold imagination that can wrest meanings from bleak and difficult material, turn even the language of science to the lyrical purpose with speed and style....  He has an acute and agonizing sense...of what it is to be a man in this century."

Links:
Academy of American Poets Kunitz page

1976
Gary Snyder

Drawing of Gary Snyder

From the 1976 Roethke Reading press release:

Gary Snyder was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in 1975 for his volume Turtle Island (1974).  In addition to the Pulitzer Prize, he was the recipient of the Bess Hokin Prize in 1964 and the Levinson Prize in 1968 (Poetry, Chicago); a Bollingen Foundation Research Grant for Buddhist Studies in 1965; a National Institute of Arts and Letters prize in 1966, and a Guggenheim Fellowship in 1968.

Snyder spent most of his youth on his parents' farm north of Seattle.  He attended grade school in Lake City and high school at Lincoln High in Seattle.  He graduated from Reed College in 1951, where he received a B.A. in anthropology and literature.  He then attended Indiana University for a year and from 1963-67 did graduate work in Chinese and Japanese studies at the University of California in Berkeley.  He has worked at many different jobs--as a seaman, a logger, a Forest Service trail crew member and forest lookout in Oregon, Washington, and California.  Snyder spent several years as a novice in a Zen monastery in Japan and also lived mostly in Japan between 1956 and 1968.  He has studied under the Zen master, Oda Sesso Roshi.

In addition to Turtle Island, Snyder is the author of numerous volumes of poetry, among them, Riprap (1959), Myths and Texts (1960), Six Sections from Mountains and Rivers Without End (1965), The Back Country (1968), Earth House Hold (1967), and Regarding Wave (1970).

Snyder is currently [1976] living in the Sierra Nevada foothills and is working on a prose book on Far Eastern culture and nature.

Links:
Academy of American Poets Snyder page

1977
Richard Hugo

Drawing of Richard Hugo

From the 1977 Roethke Reading press release:

The fourteenth annual Roethke Memorial Poetry Reading will be given by Richard Hugo on May 26th in Roethke Auditorium on the UW campus.  Richard Hugo, a former student of Theodore Roethke and a graduate of the University of Washington, is currently [1977] the Director of Creative Writing at the University of Montana in Missoula.  He has taught at the University of Iowa and held the Roethke Chair at the UW in the summer of 1971.

Hugo is the recipient of a number of awards, including a Rockefeller Fellowship for Creative Writing, the Northwest Writers Book of the Year Award, and twice has been nominated for a National Book Award.  He is the author of seven volumes of poetry: A Run of Jacks, Death of the Kapowsin Tavern, Good Luck in Cracked Italian, The Lady in Kicking Horse Reservoir, What Thou Lovest Well, Remains American, Rain Five Days, and Duwamish Head.

Links:
Joan Daugherty's Hugo page

1978
Muriel Rukeyser

Drawing of Muriel Rukeyser

From the 1978 Roethke Reading press release:

The 15th annual Theodore Roethke Memorial Poetry Reading will be given by Muriel Rukeyser on May 25th at 8:00 p.m. in Roethke Auditoriaum (Kane Hall).

Muriel Rukeyser is the author of thirteen volumes of poetry (Theory of Flight, U.S. 1; A Turning Wind; Beast in View; The Green Wave; Orpheus; Elegies; Selected Poems; Body of Waking; Waterlily Fire; The Speed of Darkness; Breaking Open; and The Gates), as well as three volumes of translation (Sun Stone; Selected Poems of Octavio Paz; and [with Leif Sjoberg] Selected Poems of Gunnar Ekelof), three volumes of prose (Willard Gibbs; The Life of Poetry; and The Traces of Thomas Hariot), and a volume of prose and poems (One Life).

Ms. Rukeyser was educated at Vassar and Columbia University.  She taught at Sarah Lawrence for many years, as well as at San Francisco State, New York University, and City College.  The recipient of many awards and honors, including a Translation Award from the Swedish Academy, and a Guggenheim Fellowship, Ms. Rukeyser is a Fellow of the American Council of Learned Societies and a Colleague of the Cathedral of St. John the Divine.  In 1977 she was given the Shelley Award of the Poetry Society and the Copernicus Award of the Academy of American Poets.

Links:
Academy of American Poets Rukeyser page

1979
William Stafford

Drawing of William Stafford

From the 1979 Roethke Reading press release:

William Stafford will give the 16th annual Roethke Memorial Poetry Reading on Friday, May 25, at 8:00 p.m. in Roethke Auditorium of Kane Hall.

Mr. Stafford's works include volumes of poetry such as West of Your City (1960), Traveling Through the Dark (1962), for which he received the National Book Award for Poetry; The Rescued Year (1966); Allegiences (1970); Going Places (1976); and most recently [1979] Stories That Could Be True (1977); Writing the Australian Crawl (essays, 1977); and I Would Also Lie to Mention Aluminum: Poems and a Conversation (1978).  The National Book Award committee said of his poetry, "William Stafford's poems are clean, direct, and whole.  They are both tough and gentle; their music knows also the value of silence."

Among Mr. Stafford's many other grants and awards are a Danforth and a Guggenheim fellowship, as well as a Shelley Poetry Award, the Union Civic League Award of Poetry magazine (1959).  He was Poetry Consultant for the Library of Congress in 1970-71.  Since 1957 Mr. Stafford has taught at Lewis and Clark College in Portland, Oregon.

Links:
The Sleep of Grass: A Tribute in Poetry to William Stafford
News from Nowhere Stafford page

1980
Philip Levine

Photo of Philip Levine

From the 1980 Roethke Reading press release:

The seventeenth annual Roethke Memorial Poetry Reading will be given by Philip Levine on May 22 of this year in Roethke Auditorium (Kane Hall).

Philip Levine's books of poetry include On the Edge (1963), Not this Pig (1968), Pili's Wall (1971), Red Dust (1971), They Feed the Lion (1972), and 1933 (1974).  He has also edited Tarumta: Selected Poems of Jaime Sabines  (1978).

Mr. Levine received a B.A. from Wayne State University in 1950 and an M.A. in 1955; in 1957 he received an MFA from the University of Iowa.  He is currently [1980] Professor of English at California State University at Fresno, where he has taught since 1958.  Among his many grants and awards, Mr. Levine numbers a Guggenheim award in 1973, an NEA grant in 1976, the Frank O'Hara Memorial Award in 1972, the award of the National Institute of Arts and Letters in 1973, and the Lenore Marshall Award (from Saturday Review and the New Hope Foundation) in 1976.

Links:
Academy of American Poets Levine page

1981
Donald Justice

Photo of Donald Justice

From the 1981 Roethke Reading press release:

The 18th annual Theodore Roethke Memorial Poetry Reading will be given by Donald Justice on Thursday, May 21, at 8:00 p.m. in Roethke Auditorium.

Donald Justice is the author of sevearl books of poetry, including The Summer Anniversaries (1960), Night Light (1967), Departures (1973), and Selected Poems (1979).  The Summer Anniversaries was the Lamont Poetry Prize Selection for 1959; Selected Poems was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in 1980.

Among his many honors and awards, Mr. Justice includes a Rockefeller Fellowship in 1954, a Ford Fellowship in theater in 1964, an NEA Fellowship in 1971, 1973, and 1980, and a Guggenheim fellowship in 1976.  He received a citation and award from the Academy of Arts and Letters and the National Institue in 1974, and was awarded the Inez Boulton and Harriet Monroe prizes from Poetry in 1960 and 1965.

Links:
Academy of American Poets Justice page
Stephane Lemeune's Justice page

1982
Robert S. Fitzgerald

Photo of Robert Fitzgerald

From the 1982 Roethke Reading press release:

Robert S. Fitzgerald will give the 19th annual Theodore Roethke Memorial Poetry Reading on Thursday, May 27, at 8:00 p.m. in Roethke Auditorium in Kane Hall on the UW campus.

Professor Fitzgerald is a prize-winning poet and translator.  His translation of The Odyssey (1961) won the first Bollingen Award for the translation of poetry, and his translation of The Iliad (1974) received the first Harold Morton Landon Award for the translation of poetry in 1975. He has also edited John Dryden's translation of The Aeneid (1965), The Collected Poems of James Agee (1968), and The Collected Short Prose of James Agee (1969).  A collection of his own poetry, Spring Shade, appeared in 1971.

The recipient of numerous awards, including two Guggenheim Fellowships, the Shelley Memorial Award, a Ford Foundation grant for creative writing, and a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities, Fitzgerald has been a member of the National Institute of Arts and Letters, the National Academy of Arts and Sciences, and a Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets. He was Boylston Professor of Rhetoric and Oratory at Harvard University from 1965 until his retirement in 1981.

1983
W. S. Merwin

Photo of W. S. Merwin

From the 1983 Roethke Reading press release:

The twentieth annual Roethke Memorial Poetry Reading will be given on May 26 of this year by W. S. Merwin.

W. S. Merwin is the author of 10 books of poetry, including A Mask for Janus (1952), The Dancing Bears (1954), Green with Beasts (1956), The Drunk in the Furnace (1960), The Moving Target (1963), The Carrier of Ladders (1970), Writings to an Unfinished Accompaniment (1973), and The Compass Flower (1977).  His many translations of poetry include The Poem of the Cid (1959), Spanish Ballads (1960), The Satires of Persius (1961), Lazarillo de Tormes (1962), The Song of Roland (1963), Transparence of the World, a translation of his selection of poems by Jean Follain (1969), and (with Clarence Brown) Osip Mandelstam, Selected Poems (1974).  His prose writings include The Miner's Pale Children (1970), Houses and Travellers (1977), and his most recent [1983] work, Unframed Originals (1982).

Among his many grants and awards, Mr. Merwin can include teh Bollingen Prize in poetry, the P.E.N. Translation Prize (for Selected Translations 1948-1968) in 1968 and the Pulitzer Prize for poetry (for The Carrier of Ladders) in 1970.  In 1984 he was awarded the Fellowship of the Academy of American Poets.

Links:
Academy of American Poets Merwin page

1984
Mona van Duyn

Photo of Mona van Duyn

From the 1984 Roethke Reading press release:

Mona Van Duyn will give the twenty-first annual Roethke Memorial Poetry Reading on May 24 of this year in Roethke Auditorium of Kane Hall on the UW campus.

Mona Van Duyn is the author of several collections of poetry, including Valentines to the Wide World (1969), A Time of Bees (1964), To See, To Take (1970), Bedtime Stories (1972), Merciful Disguises: Published and Unpublished Poems (1973), and Letters from a Father and Other Poems (1982).  Her work ahs appeared in The New Yorker, The New Republic, Poetry, The Kenyon Review, The Sewanee Review and many other literary magazines.

Ms. Van Duyn's work has been recognized with numerous prizes and awards.  She won the National Book Award in 1971, the Bollingen Prize (with Richard Wilbur) in 1970, the Loines Prize from the National Institute of Arts and Letters in 1976, the Sandburg Prize from Cornell College in 1982, and the Helen Bullis Prize from Poetry Northwest, to name only a few.  Ms. Van Duyn was one of the first five poets to receive a grant from the National Council on the Arts, and she has received a Guggenheim Fellowship (1972) and a $10,000 Fellowship from the Academy of American Poets (1980).  In 1983 she was elected to the National Institute of Arts and Letters.

Links:
Academy of American Poets Van Duyn page

1985
Carolyn Kizer

Photo of Carolyn Kizer

From the 1985 Roethke Reading press release and news coverage:

Carolyn Kizer, just named 1985 winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry for her collection of poems, Yin: New Poems, will give the 1985 Roethke Memorial Poetry Reading on May 23 at the University of Washington.

In addition to her Pulitzer Prize winning collection, Ms. Kizer is the author of several collections of poetry, including The Ungrateful Garden (1960), Knock Upon Silence (1965), Midnight Was My Cry (1981), Mermaids in the Basement: Poems for Women (1984).

Ms. Kizer was born and raised in Spokane, Washington, and is a graduate of Sarah Lawrence College, Bronxville, NY.  She also studied comparative literature at Columbia University and later lived in China for a year.  She helped to found the quarterly Poetry Northwest, and served as its first editor from 1959 to 1965.  Ms. Kizer was also the first Director of Literary Programs for the National Endowment for the Arts (1966-1970).

On the day the 1985 Pulitzer Prize winners were announced, The Seattle Times reported that "William Matchett, who directs the Roethke readings, said that this is the second time a poet scheduled to deliver the memorial reading was awarded the Pulitzer Prize just prior to the event.  James Wright won that honor and delivered the Roethke reading in 1972.  'It's not that we have any influence with the Pulitzer committee; we just recognize good poets,' Matchett said."

[Like James Wright in 1972, Carolyn Kizer had been awarded the Pulitzer Prize for poetry shortly before her appearance at the Roethke Reading, and the Seattle Times published an in-depth interview the day of the reading.]

Links:
Academy of American Poets Kizer page

1986
James Merrill

Photo of James Merrill

From the 1986 Roethke Reading press release:

James Merrill will give the 23rd annual Theodore Roethke Memorial Poetry Reading on Thursday, May 22, at 8:00 pm in Roethke Auditorium in Kane Hall on the UW campus.

James Merrill has long been one of the most critically acclaimed poets of our time.  He won the Pulitzer Prize in 1977 for his collection of poetry, Divine Comedies, as well as The Bollingen Prize in 1973 and two National Book Awards (1967 and 1977).  His most recent collection of poetry, The Changing Light at Sandover (1983) won both the National Book Critics Circle Award and the Los Angeles Times Book Award for poetry in 1983, and was characterized in the New York Review of Books as "An astonishing performance...as near to a masterpiece as anything else that American poetry has produced in the last two or three decades...."

Mr. Merrill is the author of eleven collections of poetry, two novels, and two plays.  In 1971 he was elected to the National Institute of Arts and Letters, and in 1982 he received an honorary doctorate from Yale University.  He was born in New York City in 1926, and graduated summa cum laude from Amherst College in 1947.  He divides his time [1986] between Stonington, Connecticut and Key West, Florida.

1987
Seamus Heaney

Photo of Seamus Heany

From the 1987 Roethke Reading press release:

Seamus Heaney will give the 24th annual Theodore Roethke Memorial Poetry Reading this year on Thrusday, May 21, at 8:00 p.m. in Roethke Auditorium in Kane Hall.

Seamus Heaney is the author of numerous books of poetry, including Death of a Naturalist (1966), A Lough Neagh Sequence (1969), Door into the Dark (1969), Wintering Out (1972), North (1975), Field Work (1979), and Station Island (1984).  Among his other works are a book on the poetry of Gerard Manley Hopkins (The Fire i' the Flint, 1975), Preoccupations: Selected Prose 1968-1978 (1980), and Sweeney Astray (1984), a translation of the Middle Irish romance Buile Shuibhne.

Mr. Heaney's work has been received with both popular and critical acclaim.  In 1966 he received the E. C. Gregory Award for Death of a Naturalist, and in 1973 he received the Writer in Residence Award from the American Irish Foundation.  In 1975 North won the W. H. Smith Award and the Duff Cooper Prize, presented by Robert Lowell.  In 1982, Heaney received the $12,000 biennial Bennett Award sponsored by the Hudson Review, and was awarded an Honorary Doctor of Letters degree from his alma mater, Queen's University, Belfast.

Born in 1939 in County Derry, Northern Ireland, Heaney attended Queen's University, Belfast, receiving a first-class honors degree in English language and literature in 1961.  He has taught at Queen's University, the University of California at Berkeley, and Caryfort College, Dublin.  He is currently [1987] Boylston Professor of Rhetoric and Oratory at Harvard University.

Critics have noted that Heaney possesses "an authentic and trustworthy voice and a superlative technique in using the words and music of poetry...."  His poems are said to be characterized by "a terse, affecting lyricism," as well as "a contemporary, colloquial, ironic idiom."

Links:
Internet Poetry Archive Heaney page
Publishers Weekly Online Feature: Seamus Heaney: Vindication of the Word 'Poet'

1988
Adrienne Rich

Photo of Adrienne Rich

From the 1988 Roethke Reading press release:

The 25th annual Theodore Roethke Memorial Poetry Reading will be given by Adrienne Rich on Thursday, May 26, at 8:00 pm in Roethke Auditorium in Kane Hall on the Univerisity of Washington campus.

Adrienne Rich is the author of thirteen books of poems, most recently Your Native Land, Your Life (1986).  Her first book, A Change of World, was selected by W. H. Auden to receive the Yale Younger Poets Award in 1951.  In 1975, her book Diving into the Wreck was co-winner of the National Book Award; with two other women nominees (Audre Lord and Alice Walker), she rejected the award as an individual, accepting it on behalf of all women, including those whose voices have been suppressed.  Some of her other collections of poems include The Fact of a Doorframe, Sources, A Wild Patience Has Taken Me This Far, and Leaflets.

Ms. Rich is also the author of three prose books, including Of Woman Born: Motherhood as Experience and Institution (10th anniversary edition, 1986), On Lies, Secrets, and Silence (1979), and Blood, Bread, and Poetry: Selected Prose 1979-1985 (1986).  Her poetry and prose have been translated into German, French, Spanish, Swedish, Dutch, Italian and Japanese.

In June 1986, Adrienne Rich became the first recipient of the annual Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize, for outstanding achievement in American poetry.  The prize is awarded by the Modern Poetry Association and the American Council for the Arts.  She has received two Guggenheim Fellowshipos, a grant from the American Institute of Arts and Letters, a Bollingen Foundation grant for trnaslation, and numerous other awards for poetry, including two prizes from Poetry magazine.  In 1981 she received the Fund for Human Dignity Award of the National Gay Task Force.

Ms. Rich has taught writing and women's studies at Swarthmore College, Columbia University, The City College of New York, Brandeis University, Douglass College (Rutgers), Cornell Univeristy, Scripps College, and San Jose State University.  She is now [1988] Professor of English and Feminist Studies at Stanford University.

Links:
Academy of American Poets Rich page
Rich on "Why I Refused the National Medal for the Arts"

1989
May Swenson

Photo of May Swenson

From the 1989 Roethke Reading press release:

The 26th annual Theodore Roethke Memorial Poetry Reading will be given on Thursday, May 25, by May Swenson.

May Swenson is the author of nine collections of poems, most recently [1989] In Other Words (1987), which was nominated for The National Book Critics Circle award in 1988.  Her other works include Another Animal (1954), A Cage of Spines (1958), To Mix With Time (1963), Half Sun Half Sleep (1967), Iconographs, a collection of shaped poems (1970), Poems to Solve and More Poems to Solve, two colelctions of poems especially for young readers (1966 and 1971), and New & Selected Things Taking Place (1978).  Windows and Stones, her translation from Swedish of the Selected Poems of Tomas Transtromer, appeared in 1972.  In May 1966 The Floor: A One-Act Play was produced in New York at the American Place Theatre.

Ms. Swenson has received numerous honors and awards, including teh Bollingen Prize in poetry from Yale University (1981), an Academy of American Poets Fellowshiop (1979), the Shelley Memorial Award of the Poetry Society of America (1968), a Guggenheim Fellowship (1960) and a Ford Foundation Poet/Playwright Grant (1964).  She has been a chancellor of the Academy of American Poets since 1980.  Most recently [1989] she received a MacArthur Foundation Fellowship spanning five years, beginning July 1, 1987.

Ms. Swenson was born in Logan Utah, and educated at Utah State University, where she earned a Bachelor of Science degree and was recently named Honorary Doctor of Letters.  Howard Moss has characterized her as "an original who has made on paper works unlike those made before; she speaks for animals and birds, for astronauts and trees, for statues and cities.... The naturalist is a narrow description of her calling, because she is also an anthropologist, ornithologist, and astronomer, and most of all, a verbal magician."

Links:
Academy of American Poets Swenson page

1990
Denise Levertov

Photo of Denise Levertov

From the 1990 Roethke Reading press release:

The 27th annual Theodore Roethke Memorial Poetry Reading will be given by Denise Levertov on Thursday, May 24, in Roethke Auditorium in Kane Hall on the UW campus.

Denise Levertov is the author of numerous collections of poems, most recently A Door in the Hive (1989).  AMong her many other works are Breathing in the Water (1987), Oblique Prayers (1986), Candles in Babylon (1982), Life in the Forest (1978), Footprints (1972), The Sorrow Dance (1967), The Jacob's Ladder (1961), Here and Now (1957), and The Double Image (1946). Collected Earlier Poems, 1940-1960 was published in 1979, Poems 1960-1967 in 1983, and Poems 1968-1972 in 1987.

Ms. Levertov was born in Ilford, Essex, England  in 1923, and served as a nurse in World War II.  She came to the U.S. in 1948 and was naturalized in 1955.  She has taught at City College of New York, Vassar College, Tufts University, and Stanford University.  Among her many awards and honors are the Longview Award (1961), a Guggenheim Fellowship (1962), the Elmer Holmes Bobst Award (1983) and the Shelley Memorial Award (1984).

Ms. Levertov has published two collections of essays, The Poet in the World (1973) and Light Up the Cave (1981).  She has translated Selected Poems of Guillevic (1969) and Black Iris: Poems of Jean Joubert (1988), and has edited and translated (with Edward C. Dimock, Jr.), In Praise of Krishna: Songs from the Bengali (1967).  She has two recordings, Today's Poets 3 (with others; Folkways) andThe Acolyte (Watershed, 1985).

Links:
Academy of American Poets Levertov page

1991
Mark Strand

Photo of Mark Strand

From the 1991 Roethke Reading press release:

The 28th annual Theodore Roethke Memorial Poetry Reading will be given by Mark Strand on Thursday, May 23, at 8:00 pm in Roethke Auditorium in Kane Hall.

Mark Strand was chosen in 1990 by the Librarian of Congress to be Poet Laureate of the United States.  He is the author of numerous books of poems, with Selected Poems and Continuous Life his most recent [1991].  His book of short stories, Mr. and Mrs. Baby, was published in 1985.  His translations include The Owl's Insomnia, a selection of Rafael Alberti's poems, and Travelling in the Family, a selection of Carlose Drummond de Andrade's poems, edited in collaboration with Thomas Colchie.  He has written several children's books, edited several anthologies, and published numerous articles and essays on painting and photography.

Mr. Strand has received fellowships from the Ingram Merrill, Rockefeller, and Guggenheim foundations, and from the National Endowment for the Arts.  In 1979 he was awarded the Fellowship of the Academy of American Poets, and in 1987 he received a John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Fellowship.  He has taught at many colleges and universities, and since 1981 has been a professor of English at the University of Utah.

Links:
Academy of American Poets Strand page
Strand Profile in Ploughshares, Winter 1995

1992
Maxine Kumin

Photo of Maxine Kumin

From the 1992 Roethke Reading press release:

The 29th annual Theodore Roethke Memorial Poetry Reading will be given by Maxine Kumin on Thursday, May 28 at 8:00 pm in Roethke Auditorium in Kane Hall on the UW campus.

In 1973 Maxine Kumin won the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry for her collection Up Country.  Her other books of poetry include Nurture (1989), The Long Approach (1985-6), Our Ground Time Here Will BE Brief: New and Selected Poems (1982; reissued, 1989), The Retrieval System (1978) House, Bridge, Fountain, Gate (1975), The Nightmare Factory (1970), The Privilege (1965), and Halfway (1961).  Her most recent book [1992] is Looking for Luck.

Ms. Kumin is also the author of several novels (The Designated Heir, 1974; The Abduction, 1971; The Passions of Uxport, 1968; Through Dooms of Loves, 1965), a collection of short stories (Why Can't We Live Together Like Civilized Human Beings?, 1982) and collections of essays (To Make a Prairie: Essays on Poets, Poetry, and Country Living, 1980; In Deep: Country Essays, 1987, 1988).  She has also written a number of children's books.

Ms. Kumin has received many awards and honors, including the Levinson Prize from Poetry magazine (1986), a fellowship from the Academy of American Poets (1985), and a Woodrow Wilson Visiting Fellowshipo (1979-84 and 1991-92).  She has been a Consultant in Poetry at the Library of Congress (1981-82), and is currently [1992] Poet Laureate of the State of New Hampshire, and an Elector, Poet's Corner, Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine.

Links:
Academy of American Poets Kumin page

1993
Gerald Stern

Photo of Gerald Stern

From the 1993 Roethke Reading press release:

The 30th Annual Theodore Roethke Memorial Poetry Reading will be held on Thursday, May 27 of this year at 8:00 p.m. in Roethke Auditorium on the UW campus and will feature poet Gerald Stern.

Gerald Stern is author of several collections, including The Naming of Beasts (1972), Rejoicings (1973), Lucky Life (1977), The Red Coat (1981; winner of the 1982 Melville Caine Award from the Poetry Society of America), Paradise Poems (1984), Lovesick (1987), Leaving Another Kingdom (1990), Two Long Poems (1990), and read Without Sugar (1992).  A collection of Selected Essays is forthcoming.

Mr. Stern has won numerous grants and awards, including the Lamont Poetry Prize from the Academy of American Poets (1977), a Guggenheim Fellowship (1980), the Bess Hokin Award for Poetry (Poetry, 1980), The Jerome J. Shestack Poetry Prize (American Poetry Review, 1984), and three Creative Writing Grants from the National Endowment for the Arts (1975, 1981, 1987).

Mr. Stern has taught throughout the country, including Columbia University, New York University, and Princeton University.  He held the Distinguished Writers' Chair at the University of Alabama (Fall 1984) and the Fanny Hurst Professorship at Washington University, St. Louis (Fall 1985).  He has taught at the University of Iow Writers' Workshop since 1982.

Links:
Academy of American Poets Stern page

1994
Galway Kinnell

Photo of Galway Kinnell

From the 1994 Roethke Reading press release:

The 31st annual Theodore Roethke Memorial Poetry Reading will be given by Galway Kinnell on Thursday, May 26, at 8:00 p.m. in Roethke Auditorium in Kane Hall on the UW campus.

Galway Kinnell lives part of the time in New York City, where he is Erich Maria Remarque Professor of Creative Wrting at NYU, and part of the time in Vermont, where he is state poet.  He is the author of many books of poetry, including Selected Poems, which in 1983 won the Pulitzer Prize, and, with Charles Wright's Country Music, the American BOok Award.  His most recent [1994] publication, Three Books (1993), brings together three central collections of his poetic work: Body Rags; The Past; and Mortal Acts, Mortal Words.

A former MacArthur Fellow, Mr. Kinnell has also published a novel, Black Light; a book of interviews, Walking Down the Stairs; a children's book, How the Alligator Missed Breakfast; and translations of the poetry of Francois Villon, Yvan Goll and Yves Bonnefoy.  He has also edited The Essential Whitman.

Links:
Salon's Kinnell page
Amy Munno's Kinnell Page

1995
Richard Howard

Photo of Richard Howard

From the 1995 Roethke Reading press release:

Richard Howard will give the 32nd annual Roethke Memorial Poetry Reading on Thursday, May 25, at 8:00 p.m. in Roethke Auditorium in Kane Hall on the UW campus.

Richard Howard is the author of ten books of poetry, including Untitled Subjects, which was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in 1970, and Like Most Revelations, published in March 1994. Alone with America (1970), his critical study of the art of poetry in the United States since 1950, appeared in a second enlarged edition in 1980.  Another critical work, Preferences, a collaboration with the photographer Thomas Victor, was pulished in 1974.

Mr. Howard is the translator of some 150 orks from the French, including books bo Cocteau, Gide, Breton, Barthes, Foucault, Deleuze, Sartre, DeBeauvoir, Giraudoux, DeGaulle, Robbe-Grillet, and St-John Perse.  He has been awarded the P.E.N. translation medal (forr his version of Cioran's Brief History of Decay0, the National Book Award (for his version of Baudelaire's Flowers of Evil, 1983), the French-American Prize (for his version of Duby's The Flower of Chivalry, 1988), and made a Chevalier de l'Order National du Merite by the French government.

Mr. Howard continues to serve as University Professor of English at the University of Houston, where he has been teaching since 1987.  He is the poetry editor of The Paris Review and The Western Humanities Review, and was made poet laureate of New York State in 1994.  He lives in New York City.

Links:
Academy of American Poets Howard page

1996
Lucille Clifton

Photo of Lucille Clifton

From the 1996 Roethke Reading press release:

The 33rd Annual Roethke Memorial Poetry Reading will be given this year by Lucille Clifton on Thursday, May 23, at 8:00 p.m. in Roethke Auditorium of Kane Hall on the UW campus.

Lucille Clifton is the author of several books of poetry, including The Book of Light (1993), Quilting (1991), Ten Oxherding Pictures (1988), Next (1987), Good Woman (1987), Two Headed Woman (1980), An Oradinary Woman (1974), Good News About the Earth (1972), and Good Times (1969).

She is also the author of Generations (1976), and many children's books, including Some of the Days of Everett Anderson; Everett Anderson's Year; Everett Anderson's Christmas Coming; All Us Come Cross the Water; My Brother Fine With Me; The Times They Used to Be; The Lucky Stone; The Black B-C's; The Boy Who Didn't Believe in Spring; Amifika; My Friend Jacob; and Sonora Beautiful.  She is co-author of many other children's works inlcuding Free To Be You and Me, and has been co-author of the children's television programs "Free To Be You and Me" and "Vegetable Soup."

Ms. Clifton has received numerous honors for her poetry, including The Shelley Memorial Prize from the Poetry Society of America (1992), the Charity Randall Citation, International Poetry Forum (1991), Shestack Poetry Prize, American Poetry Review (1988), the Coretta Scott King Award, American Library Association (1984).  She has received two National Endowment for the Arts Fellowships, and in 1987 was a finalist (1 of 3) for the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry.  In 1993 Ms. Clifton was named to the Maryland Women's Hall of Fame, and designated a Maryland Living Treasure.  She currently [1996] teaches at St. Mary's College in St. Mary's City, Maryland.

Links:
Academy of American Poets Clifton page
The Circle Association Clifton page

1997
Charles Wright

Photo of Charles Wright

From the 1997 Roethke Reading press release:

Charles Wright will give the 34th annual Theodore Roethke Memorial Poetry Reading at 8:00 p.m. on Thursday, May 22, in Roethke Auditorium in Kane Hall on the UW campus.

Charles Wright is the author of numerous books of poetry, including The Grave of the Right Hand (1970), Hard Freight (1973), Bloodlines (1975), China Trace (1977), The Southern Cross (1971), Country Music: Selected Early Poems (1982), The Other Side of the River (1984), Zone Journals (1988), Xionia (1990), The World of the Ten Thousand Things (1990), Chickamauga (1995), and Black Zodiac (1997).

He has published several translations of the work of Eugenio Montale, including The Storm and Other Things (1978), The Motets (1981), and (The Selected Poems of Eugenio Montale (1965, 1 of 15 translators), as well as the work of Dino Campana (Orphic Songs, 1984).  His non-fiction includes Halflife (1988) and Quarter Notes (1995).

Among Mr. Wright's awards and honors are the National Book Award (1983), a Guggenheim Fellowship in Poetry (1975), two National Endowment for the Arts Awards (1974, 1983), the Edgar Allen Poe Award, Academy of American Poets (1976), PEN Translation Prize (1979), Award of Merit Medal, American Academy of Arts and Letters (1992), Distinguished Contribution to Letters Award, Ingram Merrill Foundation (1993), Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize (1993), Member, American Academy of Arts and Letters (1995), and the Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize, The Acadmy of American Poets (1996).

Mr. Wright was born in 1935 in Pickwick Dam, Hardin County, Tennessee, and grew up in Tennessee and North Carolina.  He attended Davidson College, the University of Iowa and the University of Rome.  From 1957 to 1961 he was in the Army Intelligence Service, stationed for most of this time in Verona, Italy.  In 1963-1983 he was a member of the English Department of the University of California, Irvine. Since 1983, he has been Professor of English (since 1988, Souder Family Professor of English) at the University of Virginia.  He has taught, in a visiting capacity, at the University of Iowa, Princeton University and Columbia University, as well as being Distinguished Visiting Professor at the Universita Degli Studi, Florence, Italy in spring of 1992.

Links:
Academy of American Poets Charles Wright page

1998
Jorie Graham

Photo of Jorie Graham

From the 1998 Roethke Reading press release:

The 35th annual Theodore Roethke Memorial Poetry Reading will be given on Thursday, May 28, at 8:00 p.m. in Roethke Auditorium, Kane Hall, by Jorie Graham.

Jorie Graham was born in New York City in 1951.  She attended New York University as an undergraduate and received an MFA from the University of Iowa.  She is the author of seven collections of poetry, including The Errancy (Ecco Press, 1997), The Dream of the Unified Field: Selected Poems 1974-1994, which won the 1996 Pulitzer Prize for Poetry, Materialism (1993), Region of Unlikeness (1991), The End of Beauty (1987), Erosion (1983), and Hybrids of Plants and of Ghosts (1980).  She has also edited two anthologies: Earth Took of Earth: 100 Great Poems of the English Language (1996) and The Best American Poetry 1990.

Ms. Graham's many honors include a John D. And Catherine T. MacArthur Fellowship and the Morton Dauwen Zabel Award from The American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters.  In 1997 she was elected a Chancellor of The Academy of American Poets, and she is a member of the permanent faculty of the University of Iowa's Creative Writers' Workshop.

Links:
Academy of American Poets Graham page
Interview in American Poet, Fall 1996

1999
Colleen J. McElroy

Photo of Colleen McElroy

From the 1999 Roethke Reading press release:

Colleen J. McElroy is the author of several books of poems, including The Mules Done Long Since Gone (1973), Music from Home: Selected Poems (1976), Queen of the Ebony Isles (1984), Bone Flames (1987), What Madness Brought Me Here: Collected Poems, 1968-88 (1990), and her most recent collection, Travelling Music (1998).

She has also published numerous short stories, including the collections Jesus and Fat Tuesday (1987; rpt. London, 1988), Driving Under the Cardboard Pines (1990), as well as non-fiction, including A Long Way From St. Louie (1997, winner of the 1998 Book-of-the-Year award for travel writing, and her most recent work, Over the Lip of the World: Among the Storytellers of Madagascar (1999).

Ms. McElroy is the recipient of many grants and awards, including the Pushcart Prize in 1975, an NEA fellowship for poetry in 1978, and an NEA fellowship for fiction in 1991.  She was awarded a Fulbright Creative Writing residency in Yugoslavia in 1987-88, and received a Fulbright Research Fellowship which took her to Madagascar in 1993.  In 1988 Jesus and Fat Tuesday and Bone Flames received the Washington State Governor's Award.  In March-April 1999, Ms. McElroy will be Writer-in-Residence in poetry for the Alaska Literary Consortium, and in April-May 1999 she will be Writer-in-Residence for creative non-fiction at The Loft, Minneapolis, MN. She is currently editor-in-chief of Seattle Review and is Professor of English at the University of Washington, where she has taught since 1972.

Links:
Colleen McElroy's homepage

2000
J. D. McClatchy

Photo of J. D. McClatchy

J. D. McClatchy is the author of four books of poems, including Ten Commandments (Knopf, 1998), The Rest of the Way (Knopf, 1992), Stars Principal (Macmillan, 1986), and Scenes from Another Life (Braziller, 1981).  He has published two collections of essays: Twenty Questions (Columbia, 1998) and White Paper (Columbia, 1989), which was given the Melville Cane Award by the Poetry Society of America.  He has also edited numerous books, including The Vintage Book of World Poetry (1996), The Vintage Book of Contemporary American Poetry (1990), Woman in White: Poems by Emily Dickinson (Folio Society, 1991), and Poets on Painters (California, 1988), Recitative: Prose by James Merrill  (North Point, 1986), and Anne Sexton: The Poet and Her Critics (Indiana, 1978).  He has also published fiction and translations.  His work apears regularly in The New Yorker, The New York Times Book Review, The Paris Review, The New Republic, and many other magazines.

In addition, Mr. McClatchy has developed an increasingly prominent role in the opera house as a librettist; he has written four libretti--for William Schuman's A Question of Taste (commissioned and premiered by the Glimmerglass Opera Theater in Cooperstown, N.Y. in 1989, the next year produced at Lincoln Center by the Juilliard Opera Center, and recorded on Delos DE1030); for Francis Thorne's Mario and the Magician (given its world premier in 1994 by the Brooklyn College Opera Theater); for Bruce Saylor's Orpheus Descending (based on the Tennessee Williams play, commissioned by the Chicago Lyric Opera, premiered there in 1994, and subsequently broadcast on NPR's "World of Opera"); and for Tobias Picker's Emmeline (commissioned by the Santa Fe Opera, premiered there in 1996, subsequently telecast on PBS's "Great Performances," revived at the New York City Opera in 1998, and recorded on the Albany label, Troy 264-65.

Mr. McClatchy has had a busy academic life as well, and for many years has taught at Princeton, Yale, Columbia, UCLA, Johns Hopkins, and other universities.   He has been editor of The Yale Review since 1991.  In 1996 he was named a Chancellor of  The Academy of American Poets, in 1998 he was elected a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and in 1999 he was elected to membership in the American Academy of Arts and Letters.  Among his other honors, Mr. McClatchy has been awarded the Fellowship of the Academy of American Poets, and grants from the Guggenheim Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts.

When he was given an Award in Literature by the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters in 1991, the citation read: "J. D. McClatchy is a poet who has emerged into highly distinctive achievement in his third collection, The Rest of the Way.  Formally a amster, with enormous technical skills, McClatchy writes with an authentic blend of cognitive force and a savage emotional intensity, brilliantly restrained by his care for firm rhetorical contrl.  His increasingly complex sense of our historical overdeterminations is complemented by his concern for adjusting the balance betweeh his own poems and tradition.  It may be that no more eloquent poet will emerge in his American generation."

Comments on Ten Commandments
Academy of American Poets McClatchy page
Yale Bulletin page

2001
Tomaz Salamun

Photo of Tomaz Salamun

Hear/see Tomaz Salamun read  from his poem "Jonah" at the 2001 Roethke Reading, courtesy of Counterbalance Poetry.

The 38th annual Theodore Roethke Memorial Poetry reading featured Central Europe's foremost living poet, Tomaz Salamun.  Mr. Salamun has published twenty-six books of poetry, which have been translated into almost every European language.  Volumes of his poetry translated into English include The Selected Poems of Tomaz Salamun (Ecco Press, 1988), The Shepherd, The Hunter (Pedernal, 1992), The Four Questions of Melancholy (White Pine, 1997), and Feast, (Harcourt Brace, 2000).  A Ballad for Metka Krasovec is forthcoming from Twisted Spoon Press in April 2001.

Among his many awards, Mr. Salamun has received the Pushcart Prize (1994), the Literaturhaus (Berlin, 1996), and a Fulbright (1986-87).  He has been Visiting Writer at Vermont College, the University of Iowa, Sarah Lawrence College, Harvard University, Columbia University, the University of Massachusetts - Amherst, Georgia State University, Emory College, and University of Mississippi.  Until recently, he was the cultural attache to the Slovenian Consulate General in New York City.

"To read Tomaz Salamun," his editors write, "is to understand the delights of contemporary poetry.  Irreverent, self-mythologizing, tragic, and visionary, he is a poet of immense range and cunning, able to encompass everything from Balkan wars and politics to the most intimate personal experiences."  A major name in the international avant-garde, Salamun is, according to poet Jorie Graham, "one of Europe's philosophical wonders."

Kirkus Reviews notes: "Salamun is Slovenia's foremost living poet and the budding nation's former consul in New York.  He is a wry fantasist with the surrealist gift for striking and unlikely juxtapositions, his best work shows flashes of a sardonic, almost caustic wit.  Many of the 65 poems here [in Feast: Poems] threaten to turn into lengthy catalogues of non sequiturs, but Salamun's sure metrical grasp and deft manipulation of line breaks and stanza forms keep them moving forward, often in a headlong plunge of cracked metaphors and hermetic images."  And in Publisher's Weekly: "By turns brutal and coy, gnomic and blunt...insistently dismembers the world, only to slyly recreate and celebrate it."

Additional Salamun links:
The Poetry Center at Smith College
Taverner's Koans
Civitella Ranieri Foundation

2002
Anthony Hecht

Photo of Anthony Hecht

Anthony Hecht is the author of several books of poems, including A Summoning of Stones (1954), The Hard Hours (1967), Millions of Strange Shadows (1977), The Venetian Vespers (1979), Collected Earlier Poems (1990), The Transparent Man (1990), Flight Among the Tombs (1996), and The Darkness and the Light (2001).  He is also the author of Obbligati: Essays in Criticism (1986) and On the Laws of Poetic Art: The Andrew Mellon Lectures, 1992 (1995).  He is editor of The Essential Herbert (1976) and Jiggery-Pokery: A Compendium of Double Dactyls (2ith John Hollander, 1967), and he is co-translator of Aeschylus's Seven Against Thebes (with Helen Bacon, 1975).

The Hard Hours won the Pulitzer Prize in 1968, and among his many other honors he has received the Bollingen Prize, the Ruth Lilly Prize, the Loines Award, the Harriet Monroe Poetry Award, and fellowships from The Academy of American Poets, the American Academy in Rome, the Ford Foundation, the Guggenheim Foundation, and the Rockefeller Foundation.  He has taught at Bard College, the University of Rochester, and Georgetown University; he is Chancellor Emeritus of the Academy of American Poets.

Some Hecht links on the web:

Academy of American poets page.
Modern American Poetry entry (University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign)
Bedford/St. Martins page.
Literary History.com
Between The Lines (excerpts of Hecht interview with Philip Hoy)

Some poems:
"A Hill"
"Curriculum Vitae"
"The Feast of Stephen"

2003
X. J. Kennedy

Photo of X. J. Kennedy

X.J. Kennedy is the author of several books of poetry, including Nude Descending a Staircase: Poems, Songs, A Ballad (1961, rpt. 1994), Cross Ties (1985), Dark Horses (1992), and The Lords of Misrule: Poems 1992-2002 (2002).  He has also published a number of books for children, both poetry and fiction, including The Eagle as Wide as the World (1997) and Exploding Gravy (2002).  He is a former poetry editor of The Paris Review and his poems have appeared in such journals as Poetry, The Hudson Review, and The New Yorker.

His first poetry collection, Nude Descending a Staircase, won the Academy of American Poets' Lamont Award, and among his other honors he has also received a Guggenheim fellowship, a National Endowment for the Arts grant, the Shelley Memorial Award, and the Los Angeles Book Award.  He was the first recipient of the Michael Braude Award for light verse given by the American Academy and Institute of Arts & Letters, and in 2000 received the Award for Excellence in Children's Poetry from the National Council of Teachers of English.  

Kennedy has taught at the University of North Carolina (Greensboro), Wellesley, the University of California (Irvine), the University of Leeds, and Tufts University in Massachusetts.  He has authored several college textbooks, including Literature: An Introduction to Fiction, Poetry, and Drama (with Dana Gioia), and The Bedford Reader (with Dorothy M. Kennedy & Jane E. Aaron) and The Bedford Guide for College Writers.   With his wife, Dorothy, Kennedy has also written Knock at a Star: A Child's Introduction to Poetry.

Selected Kennedy sites on the web:

Official X. J. and Dorothy M. Kennedy homepage.
The Academy of American Poets Kennedy page.
Poemtree page (includes 10 poems).
Three poems (from Ralph: The Review of Arts, Literature, Philosophy, and the Humanities)
Letter from X. J. Kennedy to William Meredith regarding Meredith's poem submitted to The Paris Review.

2004
C. K. Williams

C. K. Williams

"Poetry confronts in the most clear-eyed way just those emotions which consciousness wishes to slide by," C. K. Williams has written. This crucial observation can be read as Williams' creative credo, according to Booklist, because he has taken as his mission the articulation of those aspects of life that haunt and plague us the most: lost love, brute aggression, hate and death. In his most recent book, The Singing, winner of the 2003 National Book Award, he extends that credo to embrace resolutions made possible through human outreach: “the love of others the miracle of others all that which feels like enough/ is truly enough/ no celestial sea. . . just life hanging on/ for dear life.”

Mr. Williams' previous book, Repair, was awarded the 2000 Pulitzer Prize, as well as the Los Angeles Times Book Award and the Weathertop Award, and his collection Flesh and Blood received the National Book Critics Circle Award. . Other publications include A dream of Mind (1992), and The Vigil (1996). Lies (1969), I am the Bitter Name (1972), With Ignorance (1977), and Tar (1983), are collected in Poems: 1963-1983 (1988). Mr. Williams is the author of three works in translation: Sophocles’ Women of Trachis (with Gregory Dickerson, 1978), The Lark. The Thrush. The Starling. (Poems from Issa) (1983); and The Baccae of Euripides (1990). His book of essays, Poetry and Consciousness, appeared in 1998, and a memoir, Misgivings, in 2000; it received the PEN/Martha Albrand Award for Memoir in 2001.

Among his honors are awards in literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the PEN/Voelcker Career Achievement Award, and the Berlin Prize from the American Academy in Berlin, and fellowships from the Lila Wallace Foundation, the Guggenheim Foundation and the National Endowment of the Arts. He was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Letters in 2003, and teaches in the Writing Program at Princeton University.

Selected Williams links on the web:
Academy of American Poets page.
Notre Dame appearance, 2001.
Review of The Vigil, by Richard Howard, in Boston Review, 1997.
Conversation with Pulitzer Prize Winner C. K. Williams, Newshour with Jim Lehrer, April 2000.
National Book Award Finalist, 2003.

2005
Adam Zagajewski

Adam Zagajewski is considered one of Poland's foremost contemporary poets. Born in Lviv in what is now western Ukraine in 1945, his family was repatriated to Poland when Lviv was ceded to the then Soviet Union. He grew up in Silesia and Krakow, graduated from Jagiellonia University, and became one of the leading poets of the "Generation of '68" or the Polish New Wave. Among his books of poetry in English are Mysticism for Beginners (1997), Tremor (1985), and Canvas (1991). His memoir, Another Beauty (2000) was translated by Clare Cavanagh, and two prose collections, Two Cities (1995) and Solitude and Solidarity (1990) were translated by Lillian Vallee. He is the recipient of a fellowship from the Berliner Kunstelerprogramm, the Kurt Tuchoisky Prize, a Prix de la Liberte, and a Guggenheim Fellowship. He has been Visiting Professor of English in the Creative Writing Program at the University of Houston, and co-editor of Zeszyty literackie (Literary Review), pubished in Paris.

Selected Zagajewski links on the web:
Academy of American Poets page.
Poetry International Web page.
Seattle Arts and Lectures page.
Culture.PL page.

2006
W. D. Snodgrass

As noted by The Academy of American Poets, W. D. Snodgrass is the author of more than twenty books of poetry, including The Fuehrer Bunker: The Complete Cycle (1995); Each in His Season (1993); and Selected Poems, 1957-1987. The Führer Bunker: A Cycle of Poems in Progress (1977) was nominated for the National Book Critics Circle Award for Poetry and produced by Wynn Handman for The American Place Theatre. Heart's Needle (1959) won the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry. He has also produced two books of literary criticism, To Sound Like Yourself: Essays on Poetry (2003) and In Radical Pursuit (1975), and six volumes of translation, including Selected Translations (BOA Editions, 1998), which won the Harold Morton Landon Translation Award. His honors include an Ingram Merrill Foundation award and a special citation from the Poetry Society of America, and fellowships from The Academy of American Poets, the Ford Foundation, the Guggenheim Foundation, the National Institute of Arts and Letters, and the National Endowment for the Arts. He lives in upstate New York.

Selected Snodgrass links on the web:
Academy of American Poets page
Between the Lines interview
Kenyon Review interview

2007
Robert Bly

As noted by the Academy of American Poets, Robert Bly has had a profound impact on the shape of American poetry as a poet, editor, and translator. He is the author of more than thirty books of poetry, including The Night Abraham Called to the Stars (HarperCollins, 2001); Snowbanks North of the House (1999); What Have I Ever Lost by Dying?: Collected Prose Poems (1992); and The Light Around the Body (1967), which won the National Book Award. As the editor of the magazine The Sixties (begun as The Fifties), Bly introduced many unknown European and South American poets to an American audience. He is also the editor of numerous collections, a prolific translatorof poets such as Lorca, Neruda, Martinson, Ekeloef, and Transtromer, and others, and author of a number of nonfiction books. Among his honors are Guggenheim, Rockefeller, and National Endowment for the Arts fellowships.

Selected Bly links on the web:
Robert Bly homepage
Academy of American Poets page
Wikipedia page
1997 Poetry Daily interview with Bly

2008
Mary Jo Salter and Brad Leithauser

Mary Jo Salter earned her B.A. from Harvard (where she studied with Elizabeth Bishop) and her M.A. from Cambridge University. She is a Professor in The Writing Seminars at Johns Hopkins University and the author of seven books: Henry Purcell in Japan (1985), Unfinished Painting (1989), Sunday Skaters (1994), A Kiss in Space (1999), Open Shutters (2003), and A Phone Call to the Future (2008), as well as a children's book, The Moon Comes Home (1989). In addition, Salter is a coeditor of The Norton Anthology of Poetry and was an editor with The New Republic and The Atlantic Monthly.

Brad Leithauser earned both a B.A. and J.D. from Harvard University and is also a Professor in the Writing Seminars at Johns Hopkins University. His books include Hundreds of Fireflies (1982), Equal Distance (1985), Cats of the Temple (1986), Hence (1989), The Mail from Anywhere (1990), Seaward (1993), Penchants and Places (1995), The Friends of Freeland (1997), The Odd Last Thing She Did (1998), A Few Corrections (2001), Darlington's Fall (2002), and Curves and Angles (2006). Leithauser was an editor of the Norton Book of Ghost Stories and is a regular writer for the New York Review of Books.

Select links
Salter: Blue Flower Arts
Salter information in Borzoi Reader (Knoff)
Salter bio from the Poetry Foundation
Leithauser professional website
Leithauser information in Borzoi Reader (Knoff)
Leithauser in the NYR
Article announcing the couple's new positions with Johns Hopkins
Salter and Leithauser on QuickMuse
PBS interview on the QuickMuse project

2009
Paul Muldoon

Paul Muldoon is the Howard G. B. Clark '21 Professor at Princeton University, Chair of the Peter B. Lewis Center for the Arts, and the Poetry Editor of the The New Yorker. He is also a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the American Academy of Arts and Letters. His major works include New Weather (1973), Why Brownlee Left (1980), Meeting the British (1987), Madoc: A Mystery (1990), Hay (1998), Horse Latitudes (2006), and Moy Sand and Gravel (2002), which was awarded the 2003 Pulitzer Prize. In addition, Mr. Muldoon is the recipient of the 1996 American Academy of Arts and Letters award in literature, the 1994 T.S. Eliot Prize, the 1997 Irish Times Poetry Prize, the 2003 Griffin International Prize for Excellence in Poetry, the 2004 American Ireland Fund Literary Award, the 2004 Shakespeare Prize, the 2005 Aspen Prize for Poetry, and the 2006 European Prize for Poetry.

Select links
Paul Muldoon's official website
"About Paul Muldoon: A Profile" (Ploughshares)
Video reading: "Why Brownlee Left"
An interview with Paul Muldoon at Colgate University

2010
Gjertrud Schnackenberg

Gjertrud Schnackenberg, a native of Tacoma, Washington, is the author of five books of poetry: Portraits and Elegies (1982), The Lamplit Answer (1985), A Gilded Lapse of Time (1992), The Throne of Labdacus (2000), and Supernatural Love: Poems, 1978-1992 (2000), and her poetry has appeared in numerous publications. She is the recipient of the 2000 Los Angeles Times Book Prize in Poetry for The Throne of Labdacus, the 1998 Academy Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters Award, the 2004 Berlin Prize from the American Academy in Berlin, the 1984 Rome Prize in Literature from the American Academy in Rome, and fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, The Radcliffe Institute, and the Guggenheim Foundation. She has been a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences since 1996.

Select links
Biography from the Poetry Foundation
New York Times review of Supernatural Love

2011
D. A. Powell

D. A. Powell was born in Albany, Georgia in 1963, he is a graduate of Sonoma State University (B.A. 1991, M.A. 1993) and the Iowa Writer's Workshop (M.F.A. 1996). His works include Tea, Lunch (a National Poetry Series finalist), Coctails (a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award for Poetry), Chronic (winner of the 2009 California Book Award), and By Myself: An Autobiography (a memoir, co-authored with David Trinidad, and composed entirely of sentences from other people's memoirs).

He is the 2010 recipient of the prestigious Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award, and has been recognized variously — winning the Lyric Poetry Award from the Poetry Society of America, a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, and a Paul Engle fellowship. He has taught at Columbia University, Sonoma State University, San Francisco State University, and Harvard University (serving as the Briggs-Copeland Lecturer). He currently teaches in the English Department at the University of San Francisco.

Select links
Poets.org.
The Poetry Foundation
2000 Interview: Poetry Flash
2009 Interview: The Southeast Review
2010 Interview: Nashville Review

2012
Heather McHugh

Heather McHugh is the author of thirteen books of poetry, translation, and literary essays, including a Griffin International Poetry Prize translation from Copper Canyon Press, as well as Pulitzer and National Book Award finalist volumes. McHugh has taught literature and writing for over three decades, most regularly at the University of Washington in Seattle, where she is the Pollock Professor of Creative Writing, and in the low-residency M.F.A. Program for Writers at Warren Wilson College. From 1999 to 2005 she served as a chancellor of the Academy of American Poets, and in 2000 she was elected a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Her honors include two grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, a Lila Wallace/Reader's Digest Award, a Guggenheim Foundation fellowship, and, in 2006, one of the first United States Artists awards. In 2009, she was awarded the MacArthur Foundation "Genius Grant" for her work. In 2011 Heather McHugh established the CAREGIFTED: Getaway Weeks for Caregivers Program, to benefit long-time caregivers of disabled family members. For more information, please visit Caregifted.org.2nd window graphic

Select links
Poets.org 2nd window graphic
The Poetry Foundation 2nd window graphic
Heather's home page 2nd window graphic

2013
Kay Ryan

Ryan has published several collections of poetry, including The Niagara River (Grove Press, 2005); Say Uncle (2000); Elephant Rocks (1996); Flamingo Watching (1994), which was a finalist for both the Lamont Poetry Selection and the Lenore Marshall Prize; Strangely Marked Metal (1985); and Dragon Acts to Dragon Ends (1983). A re-issue of her 2002 collection, Believe It or Not!, poems inspired by stories from the newspaper cartoon Ripley's Believe It or Not!, has recently been re-released and re-titled as The Jam Jar Lifeboat & Other Novelties Exposed, (Red Berry Editions 2008). Ryan's first European collection, Odd Blocks: Selected and New Poems will be published in England in August 2011. Her most recent collection, The Best of It: New and Selected Poems, was nominated for the 2010 National Book Critics Circle Award and was just awarded the Pulitzer Prize for poetry in April, 2011.

About her work, J.D. McClatchy has said: “"Her poems are compact, exhilarating, strange affairs, like Erik Satie miniatures or Joseph Cornell boxes. She is an anomaly in today's literary culture: as intense and elliptical as Dickinson, as buoyant and rueful as Frost."”

Ryan's awards include the 2011 Pulitzer Prize for Poetry, the Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize, a Guggenheim fellowship, an Ingram Merrill Award, a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Union League Poetry Prize, the Maurice English Poetry Award, four Pushcart Prizes, and the MacArthur “Genius” Award. Her work has been selected four times for The Best American Poetry and was included in The Best of the Best American Poetry 1988-1997.

Ryan's poems and essays have appeared in The New Yorker, The Atlantic, Poetry, The Yale Review, Paris Review, The American Scholar, The Threepenny Review, Parnassus, among other journals and anthologies. Ryan was elected a Chancellor of The Academy of American Poets in 2006. In 2008, Ryan was appointed the Library of Congress's sixteenth Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry.

Select links
Poets.org 2nd window graphic
The Poetry Foundation 2nd window graphic

to home page
For questions, contact: Karla Tofte
Updated May 21 2014

top of page
top