Michael Benedikt was born in 1935 in New York City. He received his B.A.
from New York University and earned a Master's Degree in English &
Comparative Literature from Columbia University. He was an Editorial Assistant
for Horizon Press from 1959 to 1962, and in 1963-64 served as Managing Editor
for the literary magazine Locus Solus.
Prior to publishing his first
collection of poetry, Benedikt co-edited three anthologies of 20th-Century
Poetic Theatre from abroad: Modern French Theatre: The Avant-Garde, Dada,
& Surrealism (1964); Post-War German Theatre (1966) and
Modern Spanish Theatre (1967). His anthology of twentieth-century
American plays, Theatre Experiment, was issued in 1968. He is also the
editor of two landmark anthologies of twentieth-century poetry: The Poetry
of Surrealism (1974); and The Prose Poem: An International Anthology
(1976). A critical Festschrift, Benedikt: A Profile was issued by
Grilled Flowers Press in 1978. Benedikt was Poetry Editor for The Paris
Review from 1975 to 1978. His editorial selections are represented in
The Paris Review Anthology (1990). Occasionally active as a
critic/journalist, he is also a former Associate Editor of Art News and
Art International. His literary criticism has appeared in Poetry
and The American Book Review.
Michael Benedikt's books of poetry include The Badminton at Great
Barrington; or, Gustave Mahler & The Chattanooga Choo-Choo (University
of Pittsburgh Press, 1980), Night Cries (prose poems, 1976), Mole
Notes (prose poems, 1971), Sky (1970), and The Body (1968).
Poems as yet uncollected in book form have appeared in the 1990's in such
literary magazines as Agni, Iowa Review, Michigan Quarterly
Review, The New Republic, The Paris Review, and Partisan
Review. His honors include a New York State Council for The Arts Grant, a
Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship, and an NEA Fellowship. He has taught at
Bennington, Sarah Lawrence, Vassar, and Hampshire Colleges; and at Boston
University. Michael Benedikt died on February 9, 2007.