Kinnell Honored for his Masterful Poetry
New York, NY (November 12, 2010) –
Yaddo poet Galway Kinnell has received the 2010 Wallace Stevens Award in recognition of his outstanding and proven mastery in the art of poetry.
Presented by the Academy of American Poets, the award includes a $100,000 prize. Kinnell read from his work and was honored at a ceremony during the Academy’s recent Poets Forum in New York City. About Kinnell's work, Academy Chancellor Sharon Olds said:
"With his music — the passion for consonants and the love of each vowel; with his poems' sense of being at home in the flesh, and in the woods, and in cities; with the high-wire daring and deep connectedness of his metaphor; with his devotion to justice, and his range of subjects, intimate and universal — Galway has given us a wide, dense, beautiful body of work, a rare store of pleasure and nourishment."
Kinnell, born in Providence, Rhode Island, in 1927, first came to Yaddo as a guest artist in 1961 and has returned several times. As a young man he served in the United States Navy and spent much of the 1960s involved in the Civil Rights Movement. He is the author of numerous books of poems, including Body Rags (1968); The Book of Nightmares (1971), a book-length poem concerned with the Vietnam War; The Avenue Bearing the Initial of Christ into the New World (1974), Strong is Your Hold (2006), and Selected Poems (1980), for which he received a Pulitzer Prize and a National Book Award. Kinnell's many honors include a MacArthur Fellowship, a Rockefeller Grant, the 1974 Shelby Prize of the Poetry Society of America, and the 1975 Medal of Merit from the National Institute of Arts and Letters. He served as a Chancellor of the Academy of American poets from 2001 to 2007 and is a longtime Member of The Corporation of Yaddo. He divides his time between Vermont and New York City.