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John Freeman is an American writer and a literary critic. Freeman grew up in New York, Pennsylvania and California, and graduated from Swarthmore College. He...
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Paisley Rekdal is the author of a book of essays, The Night My Mother Met Bruce Lee; a...

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Camille Rankine is the author of the chapbook Slow Dance with Trip Wire, selected by Cornelius Eady for the Poetry Society of...

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Brenda Shaughnessy was born in Okinawa, Japan and grew up in Southern California. She is the author of  Our Andromeda (Copper Canyon Press, 2012),...

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W.S. Merwin was born in New York City in 1927 and was United States Poet Laureate in 2010. He graduated...

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Bill Porter assumes the pen name Red Pine for his translation work. He was born in Los Angeles in 1943, grew up in the Idaho Panhandle, served a tour of duty in...

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David Budbill (1940-2016) was born in Cleveland, Ohio, to a streetcar driver and a minister's daughter.  He was the author of nine books of poems, nine plays, a novel, a collection...

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13th United States Poet Laureate (2004–2006) Ted

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“Poetry is a way of looking at the world for the first time.”

—W.S. Merwin (1927-2019)

 

It is with profound sadness that we share this news: W.S. Merwin, former United States poet laureate, Academy of American Poets Chancellor, environmental activist, literary translator, and two-time Pulitzer prize-winning author, passed away in his sleep on March 15, 2019 at his home in the Pe’ahi watershed near Haiku-Pauwela, HI. He was 91.

 

William’s final original collection of poems, Garden Time, was published in 2016, and two retrospective collections, a 50th Anniversary Edition of The Lice, and The Essential W.S. Merwin, were published in 2017. His career as a published poet spanned nearly seven decades.

 

We look back now in gratitude for the countless times W.S. Merwin has inspired us, through poetry, to see the world anew.

 

“For the Anniversary of My Death”

 

Every year without knowing it I have passed the day

When the last fires will wave to me

And the silence will set out

Tireless traveler

Like the beam of a lightless star

 

Then I will no longer

Find myself in life as in a strange garment

Surprised at the earth

And the love of one woman

And the shamelessness of men

As today writing after three days of rain

Hearing the wren sing and the falling cease

And bowing not knowing to what

— W.S. Merwin

 

Leave a personal tribute to W.S. Merwin

Make a memorial gift in support of W.S. Merwin's poetry

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May
Taos Poetry Workshop with Ellen Bass and Jericho Brown
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reader's reviews
Michelle Martinez reviews
Lost Alphabet

by Lisa Olstein

A beautiful collection of poetry! Ilya fascinates me. The poems are as delicate as the moths she collects. I will definitely order more of Olstein's books for our library!

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