MacArthur Fellows Program

A. E. Stallings

Poet and Translator | Class of 2011

Mining the classical world and traditional poetic techniques to craft imaginative explorations of contemporary life that evoke startling insights about antiquity’s relevance for today.

Title
Poet and Translator
Location
Athens, Greece
Age
43 at time of award
Area of Focus
Poetry, Translation

A. E. Stallings is a poet and translator mining the classical world and traditional poetic techniques to craft works that evoke startling insights about contemporary life. In both her original poetry and translations, Stallings exhibits a mastery of highly structured forms (such as sonnets, couplets, quatrains, and sapphics) and consummate skill in creating new combinations of meter, rhyme, and syntax into distinctive, emotionally compelling verse. Trained in classical Latin and Greek and currently living in Athens, she brings a wide knowledge of Greco-Roman literature, art, and mythology to bear on her imaginative explorations of contemporary circumstances and concerns. In Hapax (2006), Stallings imbues figures and events from classical drama and mythology with a modern sensibility. "First Love," written as a multiple-choice quiz, intertwines the Persephone myth with a chilling account of infatuation, and "XII Klassikal Lymnaeryx" emphasizes the satiric edge to Greek myth through a series of limericks in witty, unexpected diction. For her ambitious translation of De Rerum Natura (The Nature of Things, 2007), Stallings rendered Lucretius's epic-length treatise on the nature of reality into rhyming fourteeners. The unusual meter and colloquial language she employs capture every cadence of Lucretius's enthusiasm for his subject while also making the complexities of his argument easily understandable. Through her technical dexterity and graceful fusion of content and form, Stallings is revealing the timelessness of poetic expression and antiquity's relevance for today.

A. E. Stallings received an A.B. (1990) from the University of Georgia and an M.St. (1992) from the University of Oxford. Her additional works include the poetry collection Archaic Smile (1999) and poems and essays in such publications as Poetry, the Atlantic Monthly, the Hudson Review, and the Yale Review. She also serves as director of the poetry program at the Athens Centre in Athens, Greece.

News About this Fellow
April 8, 2016
"Four Poems"
The Battersea Review
A. E. Stallings, 2011 MacArthur Fellow
November 13, 2015
"Acclaimed Poet Brings Work to Life"
Manitou Messenger
A. E. Stallings, 2011 MacArthur Fellow
June 30, 2015
"Three Minute Interview: A.E. Stallings, Genius Poet"
The Red and Black
A. E. Stallings, 2011 MacArthur Fellow
June 15, 2015
"Free Verse: A.E. Stallings"
St. Louis Public Radio
A. E. Stallings, 2011 MacArthur Fellow
May 20, 2015
"A. E. Stallings and the Oxford Professor of Poetry Post"
The Times Literary Supplement
A. E. Stallings, 2011 MacArthur Fellow
October 21, 2014
"Women In Form: AE Stallings"
Tupelo Quarterly
A. E. Stallings, 2011 MacArthur Fellow
February 27, 2014
"Poetry Pairing | ‘Sestina: Like’"
The New York Times
A. E. Stallings, 2011 MacArthur Fellow
September 23, 2013
"Shoulda, Woulda, Coulda"
The New Yorker
A. E. Stallings, 2011 MacArthur Fellow
View all news

Photos

Photos are owned by the MacArthur Foundation and licensed under a Creative Commons license: CC-BY.
Credit: John D. & Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.

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