Dressed in an old coat I lumber Down a street in the East Village, time itself Whistling up my ass and looking to punish me For all the undone business I have walked away from, And I think I might have stayed In that last tower by the ocean, The one I built with my hands and furnished Using funds which came
On Nivember 21, 1949, Liam Rector was born in Washington, D.C. He received an MA from the Writing Seminars at Johns Hopkins University and an MPA from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard.
His books of poems include The Executive Director of the Fallen World (University of Chicago Press, 2006), American Prodigal (1994) and The Sorrow of Architecture (1984).
His reviews and essays appeared in magazines and books that include American Poetry Review, The Los Angeles Times Book Review, The Boston Globe, Hudson Review, Bostonia, The Oxford Companion to Literature, and Contemporary Poets.
"Liam Rector is one of the most linguistically liquid and gifted poets of his generation," said poet Lucie Brock-Broido. "His is the oddest and most hallucinatory romance with Romance in American letters."
Rector's honors include fellowships in poetry from the Guggenheim Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts, and he received the Friend to Writers Award from PEN New England. He served as poetry editor of Harvard Magazine and as associate editor of Harvard Review and Agni.
Rector edited The Day I Was Older: On the Poetry of Donald Hall (1989), and co-edited with Tree Swenson On the Poetry of Frank Bidart: Fastening the Voice to the Page (University of Michigan Press, 2007).
Rector taught at Columbia University, The New School, Emerson College, George Mason University, and elsewhere. He founded and directed the graduate Writing Seminars at Bennington College, and administered literary programs at the Association of Writers and Writing Programs, the Folger Shakespeare Library, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Academy of American Poets.
Liam Rector died on August 15, 2007.