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Galway Kinnell

abstract:Poetry, that exacting science of words, art, expression and sometimes distance, has spoken to me through the voice of Galway Kinnell. Well, actually through the audio excerpt at the Paris Review. To be bitten by poetry you need to have it read to you. To have the author read it, is a delight most exquisite. Treat yourself to 07:55 minutes of escapism today: A cigarette break for the imagination. Then click on the link to purchase your own copy and get to know more of Kinnell's words. A New Selected Poems published by Mariner Books (2008).

article:

June 20, 2008
— Galway Kinnell is an American. He was born in Providence, Road Island one of the first cities established in the USA by a religious exile from the Massachusetts Bay colonists back in the 1600's. He graduated from Princeton University and served in the navy during WWII. He travelled to Europe and the Middle East, specifically to Iran and France, where he spent time living in Paris on a Fulbright Scholarship. He returned home to join the Civil Rights Movement in the '60s. His writing has a nostalgic feel with a connection between man and nature—sort of a modern romantic naturalist (he admired Walt Whitman) with a biting social commentary slipping into lines in unexpected places. He wrote an entire book length poem on the Vietnam War. His latest book of poetry, Strong Is Your Hold: Poems in fact is the first part of a line from Whitman that continues, “Strong is your hold O mortal flesh” and “Strong is your hold O love.”

"About his work, Liz Rosenberg wrote in the Boston Globe: 'Kinnell is a poet of the rarest ability, the kind who comes once or twice in a generation, who can flesh out music, raise the spirits and break the heart.'

Kinnell's honors include a MacArthur Fellowship, a Rockefeller Grant, the 1974 Shelley Prize of the Poetry Society of America, and the 1975 Medal of Merit from National Institute of Arts and Letters. He has served as poet-in-residence at numerous colleges and universities, including the University of California at Irvine, Columbia University, Sarah Lawrence, and Brandeis, and divided his time between Vermont and New York City, where he was the Erich Maria Remarque Professor of Creative Writing at New York University."—Poets.org

He served as a Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets from 2001 to 2007. Kinnell is now retired and lives in his home in Vermont. He is 81 years old.

 

 

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