MacArthur Fellows Program

Guy Davenport

Writer, Critic, and Translator | Class of 1990

Writer, Critic, and Translator
Lexington, Kentucky
63 at time of award
January 4, 2005
Published August 1, 1990

About Guy's Work

Guy Davenport was a literary critic, essayist, translator, and prose stylist.

Davenport wrote short stories that are assemblages of history and fiction.  He linked the demotic gestures of American civilization with the great tradition of classical and European culture.  His translations of Greek poets are noted for their scholarly acumen and poetic invention.  Among his numerous collections of stories are Da Vinci’s Bicycle (1979), Apples and Pears and Other Stories (and illustrator, 1984), The Jules Verne Steam Balloon (1987), A Table of Green Fields: Ten Stories (1993), The Cardiff Team: Ten Stories (1996), and Twelve Stories (1997).  His books of essays include The Geography of the Imagination (1981), Cities on Hills: A Study of I-XXX of Ezra Pound’s Cantos (1983), Every Force Evolves a Form (1987), A Balthus Notebook (1989), The Hunter Gracchus and Other Papers on Literature and Art (1996), and Objects on a Table: Harmonious Disarray in Art and Literature (1998).  His translations include Archilochos, Sappho, Alkman: Three Lyric Poets of the Late Greek Bronze Age (1981) and Seven Greeks (1995).


Davenport taught literature at the University of Kentucky, after joining its faculty in 1963.

Davenport received a B.A. (1948) from Duke University, a B.Litt. (1950) from the University of Oxford, and a Ph.D. (1961) from Harvard University. 

Last updated January 1, 2005

Select News Coverage of Guy Davenport
December 1, 2017
"Brief Life of Guy Davenport"
Harvard Magazine
Guy Davenport , 1990 MacArthur Fellow
January 7, 2005
"Guy Davenport Dies at 77; Prolific Author and Illustrator"
The New York Times
Guy Davenport , 1990 MacArthur Fellow
September 1, 2002
"Guy Davenport, The Art of Fiction No. 174"
The Paris Review
Guy Davenport , 1990 MacArthur Fellow
More Fellows

View All 1990 Fellows

Stay Informed
Sign up for periodic news updates and event invitations.
Connect with us on social media or view all of our social media content in one place.