Mass. -- The Academy of American Poets has selected Professor
Frank Bidart as the recipient of the Wallace Stevens Award.
Given annually, the $150,000 award recognizes outstanding
and proven mastery in the art of poetry.
Chancellor and jury chair Louise Glück writes of Bidart's
poetry: "Since the publication in 1973, of Golden State,
Frank Bidart has patiently amassed as profound and original
a body of work as any now being written in this country.
He has given form for our age to what is most urgent and
private in the human soul: the ordeals of solitude and mortality
and hunger and, recently, that action through which being
speaks: the drive to make or create
work has been, from the start, remarkable in its disdain
for the soothing, the sentimental, the facile, the partial.
He is, in the feeling of our jury, one of the great poets
of our time."
of the Wellesley faculty since 1973, Bidart teaches poetry
workshops and 20th century poetry. His collections of poetry
include Desire (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1997),
which received the 1998 Bobbitt Prize for Poetry from the
Library of Congress and the Theodore Roethke Memorial Poetry
Prize and was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize and the National
Book Award; In the Western Night: Collected Poems 1965-90
(1990); The Sacrifice (1983); The Book of the
Body (1977); and Golden State (1973). He currently
is co-editing a one-volume "Collected Poems of Robert Lowell"
to be published later this year by Farrar Straus & Giroux.
Bidart was educated at the University of California at Riverside
and at Harvard, where he was a student and a friend of Lowell.