Native New Yorker Marie Ponsot was born in 1921. She has published numerous works, including Easy (Knopf, 2009) Springing (2002); The Bird Catcher (1998), which won the National Book Critics Circle Award and was a finalist for the 1999 Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize; The Green Dark (1988); Admit Impediment (1981); and True Minds (1957).
When asked why poetry matters, Ponsot replied: "There's a primitive need for language that works as an instrument of discovery and relief, that can make rich the cold places of our inner worlds with the memorable tunes and dreams poems hold for us."
About her work, poet and critic Susan Stewart has said:
What she has written of her relation to the night sky—'it becomes the infinite / air of imagination that stirs immense / among losses and leaves me less desolate'—could be claimed by her readers as a description of her own work, which pulls us always to forms of thought and attention that surprise and enlarge and cheer us.
Ponsot, who also translates books from the French, has taught in graduate programs at Queens College, Beijing United University, the Poetry Center of the YMHA, and New York University. Among her awards are a creative writing grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Delmore Schwartz Memorial Prize, and the Shaughnessy Medal of the Modern Language Association.
Marie Ponsot teaches in the graduate writing program at Columbia University in New York City. She was elected a Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets in 2010.