MacArthur Fellows Program

MacArthur Fellows / Meet the Class of November 1984

Galway Kinnell

Poet

Age: 57

Published November 1, 1984

Galway Kinnell is a poet who addresses subjects of eternal, human interest with precision and immediacy.

War, family, human mortality, and civilization’s underside are frequently the focus of his poetic explorations.  His collections of poetry include What a Kingdom It Was (1960), Flower Herding on Mount Monadnock (1964), Body Rags (1964), The Book of Nightmares (1971), The Avenue Bearing the Initial of Christ into the New World (1974), Mortal Acts, Mortal Words (1980), Selected Poems (1982), The Past (1985), When One Has Lived a Long Time Alone (1990), and Imperfect Thirst (1994).  In addition, Kinnell has published a novel, Black Light (1966), a selection of personal interviews, Walking Down the Stairs (1978), a children’s book, How the Alligator Missed Breakfast (1982), and a selection of Walt Whitman’s poetry, The Essential Whitman (1987).  He is also the translator of a number of poets’ works, including Yves Bonnefoy’s On the Motion and Immobility of Douve (1968), Yvan Gull’s Lackawanna Elegy (1970), The Poems of François Villon (1977), and The Essential Rilke (co-translator, 1999).

Kinnell is the Erich Maria Remarque Professor of Creative Writing at New York University.

Kinnell received an A.B. (1948) from Princeton University and an M.A. (1949) from the University of Rochester.

Last updated January 1, 2005.

Galway Kinnell In the Media

"Galway Kinnell Honored by Poets, Friends"

Burlington Free Press
Galway Kinnell , 1984 MacArthur Fellow
Read More

About the Fellows Program

The MacArthur Fellows Program awards unrestricted fellowships to talented individuals who have shown extraordinary originality and dedication in their creative pursuits and a marked capacity for self-direction. Learn More

Terrance Hayes, Poet

Class of 2014

Review Affirms Impact and Inspiration of MacArthur Fellows Program thumbnail

Review Affirms Impact and Inspiration of MacArthur Fellows Program

“We are proud of the Fellows Program and its impact on the lives of not just those selected but people all over the world." Cecilia Conrad, Vice President, MacArthur Fellows program. Read More
"Five Myths About the MacArthur ‘Genius Grants’" thumbnail

"Five Myths About the MacArthur ‘Genius Grants’"

Commentary by Cecilia Conrad originally published in the Washington Post Read More