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FURTHER READING
Related Prose
Coming to the End of His Triumph: A Retrospective on Jack Gilbert
by Dan Albergotti
Related Poets
Linda Gregg
Robert Duncan
External Links
Granta: Two Poems
"Meanwhile" and "The New Bride Almost Visible in Latin" from Gilbert's 2009 collection The Dance Most of All.
NPR: Jack Gilbert: Notes from a Well-Observed Life
An interview with the poet from his home in Northampton, MA.
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Jack Gilbert
Photo credit: Julio Granda

Jack Gilbert

In 1925, Jack Gilbert was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He was educated in Pittsburgh and San Francisco, where he later participated in Jack Spicer's famous "Poetry as Magic" Workshop at San Francisco State College in 1957.

His first book, Views of Jeopardy (Yale University Press, 1962) won the Yale Younger Poets Series and was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize. Soon after publishing his first book, Gilbert received a Guggenheim Fellowship and subsequently moved abroad, living in England, Denmark, and Greece. During that time, he also toured fifteen countries as a lecturer on American Literature for the U.S. State Department. Nearly twenty years after completing Views of Jeopardy, he published his second book, Monolithos, which won the Stanley Kunitz Prize and the American Poetry Review Prize. The collection takes its title from Greek, meaning "single stone," and refers to the landscape where he lived on the island of Santorini.

About Gilbert's work, the poet James Dickey said, "He takes himself away to a place more inward than is safe to go; from that awful silence and tightening, he returns to us poems of savage compassion."

Gilbert is also the author of Collected Poems (Knopf, 2012); The Dance Most of All (2009); Transgressions: Selected Poems (Bloodaxe Books 2006); Refusing Heaven (2005); winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award, and The Great Fires: Poems 1982-1992 (1996).

His other awards and honors include the Lannan Literary Award for Poetry and a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts.

Gilbert was the 1999-2000 Grace Hazard Conkling writer-in-residence at Smith College and a visiting professor and writer-in-residence at the University of Tennessee in 2004. Gilbert died on November 13, 2012 in Berkeley, California after a long battle with Alzheimer's. He was 87.

Poems by
Jack Gilbert

By Small and Small: Midnight to Four A.M.
Failing and Flying
Going There
Horses at Midnight Without a Moon
South
Summer at Blue Creek, North Carolina
Tear It Down
The Forgotten Dialect of the Heart

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