biographies

BRIEF BIOGRAPHIES of READERS

Eavan Boland

Eavan Boland’s most recent book of prose is “A Journey with Two Maps” 2011 W.W.Norton. Her most recent volume of poetry is “Domestic Violence” (2008 WW Norton). She is co-editor with Mark Strand of the “Norton Anthology of Poetic Forms”. She teaches at Stanford University where she is a Professor of English and Director of the Creative Writing Program.

Anne Carson

Anne Carson was born in Canada and teaches ancient Greek for a living. Her awards and honors include the Lannan Award, the Pushcart Prize, the Griffin Trust Award for Excellence in Poetry, a Guggenheim fellowship, and the MacArthur “Genius” Award.

Rachel Blau DuPlessis

Rachel Blau DuPlessis (Ph.D., Columbia University, 1970) is known as a poet and essayist, and as a critic and scholar with a special interest in modern and contemporary poetry. From 1986 until 2012, DuPlessis has been engaged in a long poem project, collected in several book-length installments from Wesleyan University Press and Salt Publishing. The newest book, Surge: Drafts 96-114, was published by Salt in 2013, bringing this 26-year long poem to a temporary fold. Books belonging to this project are Drafts 1-38, Toll (Wesleyan, 2001); DRAFTS. Drafts 39-57, Pledge with Draft, Unnumbered: Précis (Salt Publishing, 2004): Torques: Drafts 58-76 (Salt Publishing, 2007) and Pitch: Drafts 77-95 (Salt Publishing, 2010). The Collage Poems of Drafts appeared early in 2011 from Salt Publishing. This work in poetry is the subject of an on-line colloquium and set of essays published in Jacket2 in December 2011 jacket2.org/feature/drafting-beyond-ending

Jorie Graham

Jorie Graham has published eight books of poems since 1980: Hybrids of Plants and of Ghosts, Erosion, The End of Beauty, Region of Unlikeness, Materialism, The Errancy, Swarm, and Never. Her selected poems, The Dream of the Unified Field, won the Pulitzer Prize in 1996. She has also edited Earth Took of Earth: 100 Great Poems of the English Language and The Best American Poetry 1990, contributing a much-cited introduction to that volume. A mainstay of the University of Iowa’s Writers’ Workshop from 1983–1998, she is currently Boylston Professor of Rhetoric and Oratory at Harvard, succeeding Seamus Heaney, and the first woman to hold that position. One of the oldest chairs at Harvard, the professorship permits her, by contract, to tether a cow in Harvard Yard.

W. N. Herbert

W.N. Herbert was born in Dundee, Scotland and received his D.Phil. from Brasenose College, Oxford, where he published his thesis on the Scots poet, Hugh MacDiarmid.  He has published seven volumes of poetry and four pamphlets and is widely anthologized. His last five collections, all with the publisher Bloodaxe, have won numerous accolades. His most recent Bloodaxe collection, Bad Shaman Blues (2006), was a PBS Recommendation, and was shortlisted for the T.S. Eliot and Saltire prizes.  Since 2001 he has been the lead poet for the award-winning Westpark development in Darlington, a text-led public art project. His most recent public art piece, “Pentad,” is positioned outside the Robinson Library on Newcastle University campus. In recent years he has focused on literary translation, editing an anthology of translations from contemporary Bulgarian poetry called A Balkan Exchange (Arc, 2007), which included original poetry by the translators. Together with Martin Orwin, he translated the Somali poet Gaarriye for the Poetry Translation Centre, published in a pamphlet by Enitharmon in 2008. He worked with the prominent Chinese poet, Yang Lian, on Jade Ladder, a book of translations from contemporary Chinese poetry, which appeared from Bloodaxe Books in April 2012.  He also wrote and presented a radio program, “Guns, Roses and Poetry” on international poetry festivals, and, with Clare Pollard, the radio play “Surface to Air.”   He lives in an old lighthouse in North Shields with the novelist Debbie Taylor.

Major Jackson

Major Jackson is an American poet, professor and the author of three collections of poetry: HOLDING COMPANY (W.W. Norton, 2010) and HOOPS (W.W. Norton, 2006), both finalists for an NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Literature-Poetry and LEAVING SATURN (University of Georgia, 2002), winner of the 2001 Cave Canem Poetry Prize and finalist for a National Book Critics Award Circle. He is also a recipient of a Whiting Writers’ Award and has been honored by the Pew Fellowship in the Arts and the Witter Bynner Foundation in conjunction with the Library of Congress.

Yusef Komunyakaa

Born in Louisiana, the great-grandson of Trinidadian stowaways, Yusef Komunyakaa changed his name from James Willie Brown to honor his island heritage. His poems bear enough weight to hold the songs and cries of two souls. Known for musical references and remarkable imagery, the Pulitzer Prize winner mixes worlds freely. Memory is stirred up and ghosts engaged, from Minerva to Monk. Indictments are handed out in a measured way and balanced with adulation. Rope and catgut are bookends. The scales demand a “pinch of salt for a pinch of sugar.” More than a witness, Komunyakaa navigates between poles: between crime and faith, cages and paradise, love and reason. He confronts despots and turns thunder into nourishing rain.

Tony Lopez

Tony Lopez is an English poet with an international reputation for innovation in found text. His latest books are Only More So (University of New Orleans Press, 2011; Shearsman 2012) and a new edition of his best-known long poem False Memory (Shearsman, 2012).  He was born in Stockwell in 1950 and grew up in Brixton, South London. He began work by writing fiction for newspapers and magazines, and published five crime and science fiction novels before going to university at Essex and then Cambridge. He has received awards from the Wingate Foundation, the Society of Authors, the Arts and Humanities Research Council, and Arts Council England. His poetry is featured in The Art of the Sonnet (Harvard University Press), Twentieth-Century British and Irish Poetry (Oxford University Press), Vanishing Points: New Modernist Poems (Salt), The Reality Street Book of Sonnets (Reality Street), Other: British and Irish Poetry since 1970 (Wesleyan University Press), and Conductors of Chaos (Picador). His critical writings are collected in Meaning Performance: Essays on Poetry (Salt) and The Poetry of W.S. Graham (Edinburgh University Press). He taught for many years at the University of Plymouth, where he was appointed the first Professor of Poetry (2000) and Emeritus Professor (2009). He now works by commission on text-based public art.

David Marriott

D.S. Marriott’s most recent book of poetry is ‘The Bloods’ (Shearsman, 2011). His work has appeared in Rodney Lumsden, ed. ‘Identity Parade: New British and Irish Poets’ (Bloodaxe Books, 2010) and will shortly appear in Jackie Kay, ed. ‘Out of Bounds: British Black & Asian Poets’ (forthcoming, 2012). ‘In-Neuter’, a new chapbook, will be out later this year from Equipage. He currently lives in San Francisco and teaches in the History of Consciousness program, University of California, Santa Cruz.

Dawn Lundy Martin

Dawn Lundy Martin is the author of DISCIPLINE (Nighboat Books 2011); Candy (Albion Books 2011); A Gathering of Matter/A Matter of Gathering (2007); and The Morning Hour(2003). She is a founding member of the Black Took Collective, a group of experimental black poets, and an assistant professor of English at the University of Pittsburgh.

Marianne Morris

started Bad Press in 2003, after submitting a poem containing the word ‘cunt’ to an editor who responded that he didn’t like her ‘syntax’.  Her first full collection, The On All Said Things Moratorium, was published in 2013 by Enitharmon.  She holds a PhD in performance writing from University College Falmouth in the UK, and is currently a student of Chinese medicine in Berkeley.  Recent chapbooks include Alphabet Poems (BookThug, 2014), DSK (Tipped Press, 2013), and Commitment (Critical Documents, 2011).

Alice Notley

Alice Notley was born in 1945 in Bisbee, Arizona. She received a B.A from Barnard College, in 1967, and an M.F.A. from the University of Iowa in 1969. She married the writer Ted Berrigan in 1972, with whom she had two sons. After Berrigan’s death in 1983, she married the British poet Doug Oliver and relocated to Paris, France.Notley’s writing and art responds to a broad spectrum of American culture. Her experiments with poetic forms and free verse owe as much to Gertrude Stein, Frank O’Hara, and Ted Berrigan as they do to William Carlos Williams. Like them, she believes that she is writing primarily to express her own personal tone of voice. She feels her speech is the voice of “the new wife, and the new mother” in her own time, but her first aim is to make a poem, rather than present a platform of social reform. Among the numerous collections of verse that Notley has published are INCIDENTALS IN THE DAY WORLD (1973), WHEN I WAS ALIVE (1980), WALTZING MATILDA (1981), MARGARET AND DUSTY (1985), and HOW SPRING COMES (1981) which received a 1982 San Francisco Poetry Center Book Award. In addition to her poems, Notley wrote a short autobiography entitled TELL ME AGAIN (1982).

Yosefa Raz

Yosefa Raz lives in Oakland and sometimes in Tel Aviv. Currently a PhD student in the Jewish Studies Program, she is writing her dissertation on Hebrew prophecy and its reception in Modern Hebrew poetry. Her poetry, prose and translations have been published in ZYZZYVA, Glimmer Train, Tikkun, Lilith, Zeek and Try! Magazine. Her first book, In Exchange for a Homeland, was published by Swan Scythe Press in 2004. Her current poetry manuscript, The Red Dress Experiment, won the Eisner Prize last spring.

Keston Sutherland

Keston Sutherland teaches English literature and critical theory at the University of Sussex. He is editor of Quid and the Quid CD series and is currently editing the complete critical prose of J.H. Prynne. He has published numerous essays on poetics, politics and philosophy. Keston’s poetry has been translated into French, German, English and Chinese, appearing in anthologies, journals and newspapers across the high art marginalese diaspora. He has given readings all over the world and is thus thoroughly metropolitan. He represented Great Britain in November 2005 at the French Biennale des Poetes at Val de Marne.

Catherine Walsh

Catherine Walsh was born in Dublin, Ireland, in 1964, has spent some time living and working abroad, and currently lives in Limerick. She co-edited two issues of “the Journal,” published by hardPressed Poetry, and currently co-edits the hardPressed Poetry press with Billy Mills. Catherine has published over ten books of poetry with a variety of presses in Ireland and England and has received much  acclaim for her long-form, experimental projects.  Her most recent work, Astonished Birds Cara Jane, Bob and James came out through hardPressed Poetry in 2012.  Her work has been included in a number of anthologies, including the Oxford Anthology of Twentieth-Century British & Irish Poetry and No Soy Tu Musa, a bilingual Spanish/English anthology of Irish women poets.

John Wilkinson

John Wilkinson is Professor of Practice in the Arts at the University of Chicago. Previously he worked for over twenty years in mental health services in England, before joining the Department of English at Notre Dame. This autumn Seagull Books publishes his new book of poetry Reckitt’s Blue; other recent publications are Ode at the Gate of the Gathering (Crater Press 2011) and Down to Earth (Salt 2008). He has published a book of critical essays, The Lyric Touch (Salt 2007) and a number of subsequent papers on O’Hara, Schuyler, Guest, Oppen and Prynne among others.

C. K. Williams

C. K. Williams was born and grew up in and around Newark, New Jersey. He graduated from the University of Pennsylvania, where he majored in philosophy and English. He has published many books of poetry, including Repair, which was awarded the 2000 Pulitzer Prize, The Singing which won the National Book Award for 2003, and Flesh and Blood, the winner of the National Book Critics Circle Prize in 1987. He has also been awarded the Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize, the PEN Voelker Career Achievement Award in Poetry for 1998; a Guggeheim Fellowship, two NEA grants, the Berlin Prize of the American Academy in Berlin, a Lila Wallace Fellowship, and prizes from PEN and the American Academy of Arts and Letters.  He published a memoir, Misgivings, in 2000, which was awarded the PEN Albrand Memoir Award, and translations of Sophocles’ Women of Trachis, Euripides’ Bacchae, and poems of Francis Ponge, among others. His book of essays, Poetry and Consciousness, appeared in 1998.  His newest books include a book of poetry, Wait, published by Bloodaxe Books in the Spring of 2010, a book on Walt Whitman, On Whitman (2012), as well as Writers Writing Dying, which came out in 2012 through Farrar, Straus, Giroux.  He teaches in the Creative Writing Program at Princeton University, is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and is currently a chancellor of the American Academy of Poets.

Tyrone Williams

Tyrone Williams teaches literature and theory at Xavier University in Cincinnati, Ohio. He is the author of four books of poetry, c.c. (Krupskaya Books, 2002), On Spec (Omnidawn Publishing, 2008), The Hero Project of the Century (The Backwaters Press, 2009), and Howell (Atelos Press, 2011). Further information about his work is available on his website: http://home.earthlink.net/~suspend/

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