MacArthur Fellows Program

MacArthur Fellows / Meet the Class of March 1984

Charles Simic

Poet, Translator, and Essayist

Durham, New Hampshire

Age: 46

Published March 1, 1984

Charles Simic is a poet, an essayist, and a translator.

A native of Yugoslavia who immigrated to the United States in 1953, Simic employs his adoptive homeland's language to compose poems that often draw from his experiences in war-torn Belgrade.  His poetry is known for a precision and sparseness that touch on the surreal.  His numerous collections of poetry include Dismantling the Silence (1971), Charon’s Cosmology (1977), Austerities (1982), Weather Forecast for Utopia and Vicinity (1983), The Book of Gods and Devils (1990), Hotel Insomnia (1992), A Wedding in Hell (1994), Frightening Toys (1995), Walking the Black Cat (1996), Looking for Trouble (1997), Jackstraws (1999), Night Picnic (2001), Voice at 3 A.M. (2003), and My Noiseless Entourage (2005).  Simic has written essays on various aspects of modernist poetics and has published five volumes of prose, including Unemployed Fortune Teller (1994), Orphan Factory (1998), A Fly in the Soup (2000), and Metaphysician in the Dark (2003).  He has also translated contemporary Serbian, Russian, and French poetry, and has edited a number of poetry anthologies.

Simic is a Distinguished University Professor in the Department of English at the University of New Hampshire, where he teaches American literature and creative writing.

Simic received a B.A. (1967) from New York University.

Last updated January 1, 2005.

Charles Simic In the Media

"The Joy of the Street'

The New York Review of Books
Charles Simic , 1984 MacArthur Fellow
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"31 Contemporary Poets You Need To Read"

BuzzFeed
Charles Simic , 1984 MacArthur Fellow
Kay Ryan, 2011 MacArthur Fellow
Terrance Hayes, 2014 MacArthur Fellow
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"New York in Eight Parts"

The New York Review of Books
Charles Simic , 1984 MacArthur Fellow
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"Poetry Podcast: John Ashbery Reads Charles Simic"

The New Yorker
Charles Simic , 1984 MacArthur Fellow
John Ashbery , 1985 MacArthur Fellow
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"A Q&A With Charles Simic"

Rollins 360
Charles Simic , 1984 MacArthur Fellow
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"Book Review: Charles Simic’s New and Selected Poems: 1962-2012"

Santa Barbara Independent
Charles Simic, 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

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