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Marvin Bell

Marvin Bell, author of twenty-three books of poetry and essays, has been called "an insider who thinks like an outsider," and his writing has been called "ambitious without pretension.” Reviewing The Book of the Dead Man for The Georgia Review, Judith Kitchen noted: "These new books by Marvin Bell are doing to poetry what has occasionally been done before—sending it into new and original territory. Bell has redefined poetry as it is being practiced today.” His latest books are Vertigo: The Living Dead Man Poems (Copper Canyon); Whiteout, a collaboration with the photographer Nathan Lyons, (Lodima); and a children's book with illustrations by Chris RaschkaA Primer about the Flag (Candlewick). These books were preceded by the wartime collection, Mars Being Red, and 7 Poets, 4 Days, 1 Book—a collaboration of poets from five countries. A song cycle, "The Animals," premiered in 2009. His poems, his teaching, and his columns in The American Poetry Review, "Homage to the Runner," have influenced generations of poets.


Johnson Brigham Award of the Iowa Library Association, 2013

Honorary Doctorate of Letters, Union College, 2011

Finalist, Los Angeles Times Book Award, 2007 (Mars Being Red).

First Poet Laureate of the State of Iowa, 2000-2004.

Award in Literature, American Academy of Arts and Letters, 1994

Senior Fulbright Scholar to Australia, 1986

Honorary Doctorate of Letters, Alfred University, 1978 and 1986

National Endowment for the Arts Fellowships, 1984

Senior Fulbright Scholar to Yugoslavia, 1983

American Poetry Review Prize, 1982

Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship, 1977

National Book Award Finalist, 1977 (Stars Which See, Stars Which Do Not See).

Emily Clark Balch Prize, Virginia Quarterly Review, 1970

Bess Hokin Award, Poetry, 1969

The Lamont Award, Academy of American Poets, 1969 (A Probable Volume of Dreams)

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