New York, New York
57 at time of award
October 28, 2014
Area of Focus

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.

News About This Fellow
December 6, 2017
"Albright: Kinnell's Collected Poems"
Vermont Public Radio
Galway Kinnell , 1984 MacArthur Fellow
October 30, 2014
"Postscript: Galway Kinnell (1927-2014)"
The New Yorker
Galway Kinnell , 1984 MacArthur Fellow
August 7, 2014
"Galway Kinnell Honored by Poets, Friends"
Burlington Free Press
Galway Kinnell , 1984 MacArthur Fellow
View all news
More Fellows

View All 1984 Fellows

Stay Informed
Sign up for periodic news updates and event invitations.
Check out our social media content in one place, or connect with us on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and LinkedIn.