Clarence Major

Neil Michel

Clarence Major is a prize-winning painter, novelist, and poet whose first poetry collection, Swallow the Lake, won the National Council on the Arts Award in 1970. Author of fifteen books of poetry, Major was a 1999 finalist for the National Book Award for Configurations: New and Selected Poems 1958–1998. Among his other awards are the PEN Oakland/Reginald Lockett Lifetime Achievement Award and the Stephen Henderson Award. He is a contributor to The New Yorker, Harvard Review, Ploughshares, The Literary Review, and more than 100 hundred other periodicals and anthologies, including several Norton Anthologies. He has served as a judge for the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Book Awards, and many state and cultural arts agencies. He has read his poetry at the Guggenheim Museum, the Folger Theater, and in hundreds of universities, theaters, and cultural centers in the United States and Europe. He represented the United States the 1975 International Poetry Festival in Yugoslavia. He is also editor of anthologies widely used in university classes. Clarence Major is a Distinguished Professor Emeritus at the University of California, Davis.

Awards and Honors

PEN Oakland/Reginald Lockett Lifetime Achievement Award, 2016

Stephen Henderson Poetry, 2002

Finalist, National Book Award, 1999

National Council on the Arts Award, 1970