Poet, Translator, and Essayist
Durham, New Hampshire
Age: 46 at time of award
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
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
Ellen Bryant Voigt, Poet
Class of 2015