Campbell McGrath

Poet Class of 1999
location icon Location
Miami, Florida
age iconAge
37 at time of award
area of focus iconArea of Focus

About Campbell's Work

Campbell McGrath is a poet whose work is characterized by lyrical skill, intellectual breadth, and humor. 

McGrath’s most recent work, Spring Comes to Chicago, is noted for its reflective intelligence and comic ebullience. In it, as in his other work, he combines both a personal and an acute historical consciousness as he maps the social, cultural, and natural landscapes of America. His grand vision, raw energy, and keen ear for the subtleties of the modern condition, have led critics to compare him to Allen Ginsberg and William Carlos Williams. Though his work is a reflection of our age and society, McGrath has his own unique voice—an expansive prose poetry that accumulates images and metaphors through the use of symbols and tangible, everyday details.


McGrath is the Philip and Patricia Frost Professor of Creative Writing and a professor of English at Florida International University. He is the author of Capitalism (1990), American Noise (1994), Spring Comes to Chicago (1996), Road Atlas (2001), Florida Poems (2002), and Pax Atomica (2004). His work has been published in such literary magazines as the Paris Review and the Kenyon Review. 

McGrath received a B.A. (1984) from the University of Chicago and an M.F.A. (1988) from Columbia University.

Recent News

Campbell McGrath continues to serve as the Philip and Patricia Frost Professor of Creative Writing at Florida International University. He is the author of ten books of poetry, including, most recently, In the Kingdom of the Sea Monkeys (2012) and Heart of Anthracite: Prose Poems, 1980–2005 (2005). He has received many of America’s major literary prizes for his work, including a USA Knight Fellowship (2011), a Witter-Bynner Fellowship from the Library of Congress (1999), the Kingsley Tufts Prize (1997), and a Guggenheim Fellowship (1998). His poetry has appeared in The New Yorker, Harper’s, and The Atlantic and on the op-ed page of the New York Times, as well as in scores of literary reviews and quarterlies.

Updated July 2015

Published on July 1, 1999

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