2018 Poet in Residence

Vijay Seshadri

Poet, essayist, and critic Vijay Seshadri was born in Bangalore, India, and came to the US at the age of five. He earned a BA from Oberlin College and an MFA from Columbia University. Among his literary influences are Walt Whitman, Emily Dickinson, Elizabeth Bishop, and William Blake.

Praised for its elasticity, vivaciousness, and intimacy of tone, Seshadri's poetry includes elements of Indian mythology and religion. His experience as a biologist for the National Marine Fish Service formed the centerpiece of his first collection of poems, Wild Kingdom (1996). His 2003 second collection The Long Meadow won the James Laughlin Award and his third collection, 3 Sections (2013), won the Pulitzer Prize in Poetry. The Pulitzer committee described the book as “a compelling collection of poems that examine human consciousness, from birth to dementia, in a voice that is by turns witty and grave, compassionate and remorseless.”

Seshadri has received fellowships from the New York Foundation for the Arts, the NEA, and the Guggenheim Foundation, and has been awarded The Paris Review’s Bernard F. Conners Long Poem Prize and the MacDowell Colony’s Fellowship for Distinguished Poetic Achievement. He has worked as an editor at the New Yorker and has taught at Bennington College. Currently, he teaches undergraduate writing courses at Sarah Lawrence College as well as directs the graduate non-fiction writing program. He lives in Brooklyn.

Seshadri will offer a Master Class in Poetry Writing, followed by a poetry reading on June 2, 2018.
He will officiate the annual WWBA Birthday Celebration on June 3, 2018.

WWBA's Poets-in-Residence Program

The annual Poet-In-Residence program is proudly sponsored by WWBA. Each year the program features revered and distinguished contemporary poets who continue to embody Walt Whitman’s spirit of democracy, diversity and creativity.


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