Galway Kinnell

(b. 1927)

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born in Rhode Island, after receiving his A.B. from Princeton (1948) and an M.A. from the University of Rochester, has taught at various universities. Early poems, published in First Poems, 1946–1954 (1970), What a Kingdom It Was (1960), and Flower Herding on Mount Monadnock (1964), are marked by vivid observation and religious and social consciousness presented in pure, though idiomatic, language. Later poems, often darker and more symbolic, appear in Body Rags (1966); The Lackawanna Elegy (1971); The Book of Nightmares (1971), a sequence of ten intense and personal poems; The Avenue Bearing the Initial of Christ into the New World (1974), whose title poem presents Whitman-like religious feelings about the ordinary people encountered on New York's Avenue C; Mortal Acts, Mortal Words (1980); Selected Poems (1982, Pulitzer Prize); and There Are Things I Tell to No One (1982). Kinnell has translated poems by Yves Bonnefoy, Yvan Goll, and Villon and has written a taut novel,Black Light (1966), set in Iran, where he taught for a year. Walking Down the Stairs (1978) contains his views on poetry set forth in interviews.

Subjects: Literature.

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