Seattle, Washington
53 at time of award
Area of Focus
Published July 1, 1998

Linda Bierds is a poet of elegant historiographies and descriptive narration.

Her attention to historical detail and to narratives of lyric description sets her work apart from the prevailing contemporary styles of poetry. In her volume of poetry, Ghost Trio (1994), Bierds examines the role that imagination plays in our lives by looking at three English families across three generations: the Darwins, Wedgwoods and Whitfields, who all lived in proximity during the eighteenth century. Their stories unfold in an associative rather than linear way as family members reflect on death or other times when life seems to pause symbolically. In another work, The Profile Makers (1997), she tells the story of a Civil War family photo session – her sense of alliteration and rhythm mirroring the early state of the art of photography and the disheveled state of the Union. Her other works of poetry include Heart and Perimeter (1991), Companions for the Slow Rowing (1991), The Seconds (2000), and First Hand (2005).

Bierds is the Alice L. Lockwood Professor in the Humanities at the University of Washington. Her poetry has appeared in numerous periodicals, including the New Yorker, the Bloomsbury Review, and the Hudson Review.

Bierds received a B.A. (1969) and M.A. (1971) from the University of Washington, Seattle.

Last updated January 1, 2006

Select News About Linda Bierds
April 26, 2015
"Acclaimed Poet Linda Bierds Will Read in Salem April 23"
Statesman Journal
Linda Bierds , 1998 MacArthur Fellow
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