Walt Whitman Birthplace Association 1986 Poet in Residence

Galway Kinnell

Galway Kinnell was born in Providence, Rhode Island and he was raised in Pawtucket. He graduated summa cum laude from Princeton University and received a Masters degree from University of Rochester.  He was the director of the adult education program at the University of Chicago’s Downtown Center, a teacher and journalist in Iran, and a field worker for the Congress of Racial Equality in Louisiana, and subsequently taught poetry at colleges in this country and abroad.

Kinnell is also the author of ten books of poetry, including The Book of Nightmares, When One Has Lived a Long Time Alone, Imperfect Thirst, and most recently A New Selected Poems and Strong is Your Hold.  He also published a novel, Black Light; a selection of interviews, Walking Down the Stairs; and a book for children, as well as translations of works by Yves Bonnefoy, Yvan Goll, Francois Villon and Rainer Maria Rilke.

A former MacArthur Fellow and State Poet of Vermont, he has been a Chancellor of The Academy of American Poets.  In 1982, his Selected Poems won both the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award, and in 2002, he was awarded the Frost Medal by the Poetry Society of America.  He taught for many years at New York University, where he was Erich Maria Remarque Professor of Creative Writing.  He lives in northern Vermont.

Information taken from the poet’s website.

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