Charles Simic

Poet, Translator, and Essayist Class of March 1984
location icon Location
Durham, New Hampshire
age iconAge
46 at time of award
age iconDate Deceased
January 09, 2023

About Charles' Work

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.

Published on March 1, 1984

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