Galway Kinnell has been a major figure in American poetry for three decades.
Selected Poems (1982) was awarded both the Pulitzer Prize for
Poetry and the National Book Award, and individual volumes such as Body
Rags, The Book of Nightmares, Mortal Acts, Mortal Words, and Imperfect
Thirst have won him an large and passionate following. “His
point,” writes Publishers Weekly, “seems not to describe
or illustrate facts of nature, human or inhuman, but to summon their
essence, with lyric violence or tenderness, and confirm a kinship.”
In addition to his many books of poetry, a novel, a collection of interviews,
and a children’s book, Kinnell edited The Essential Whitman and
has published translations of works by Yves Bonnefoy, Francois Villon, and, most
recently, Rainer Maria Rilke.
Kinnell was born in Rhode Island and educated at Princeton (where he roomed with
W. S. Merwin). Awarded fellowships from the MacArthur and Guggenheim Foundations
and the Medal of Merit of the National Institute of Arts and Letters, Kinnell
has held lectureships abroad, in France and Iran, and taught widely in the U.S.
Currently the Erich Maria Remarque Professor of Creative Writing at New York
University, he lives in New York City and in Vermont, where he was State Poet