James McMichael Receives the Academy of American Poets Fellowship

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Sep 18 2007
New York, September 18—Poet James McMichael has been selected as the recipient of the 2007 Academy Fellowship, given by the Academy of American Poets in memory of James Ingram Merrill. The Academy Fellowship is awarded once a year to a poet for distinguished poetic achievement at mid-career and provides a stipend of $25,000. Fellows are elected by the Academy’s Board of Chancellors, a body of sixteen eminent poets.

Of James McMichael’s work, Chancellor Robert Pinsky writes:

James McMichael is a radical original. He writes about the Industrial Revolution, the age of empire and colonization, the age of digital information, with an informed passion and intimacy. Few living writers in prose or verse are as interesting, or as interested.

C. K. Williams, also an Academy Chancellor, says:

James McMichael has for many years been one of our most innovative poets, with a broad thematic range, and a passionate commitment to the truths of life and art. His poems are at once as capacious as novels, formally inventive, and emotionally profound.

James McMichael was born in Pasadena, California, and received his Ph.D. at Stanford University. His collections of poetry include Capacity (Farrar Straus & Giroux, 2006), which was a finalist for last year’s National Book Award; The World at Large: New and Selected Poems, 1971-1996 (1996); Each in a Place Apart (1994); Four Good Things (1980); and The Lover’s Familiar (1978). McMichael’s honors include a Guggenheim fellowship, a Whiting Foundation Writer’s Award, the Arthur O. Rense Prize from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and the Shelley Memorial Prize from the Poetry Society of America. He is professor of English and comparative literature at the University of California at Irvine.

McMichael will read from his work at the Academy of American Poets Awards Ceremony & Reading on October 19, 2007, in New York City. Robert Pinsky will introduce him. For more information, visit www.poets.org/poetsforum.

About the Award
The Academy of American Poets established its Fellowship in 1937. It was the very first cash award given annually to an American poet. Former recipients include Gwendolyn Brooks, E. E. Cummings, Robert Frost, William Carlos Williams, Elizabeth Bishop, Marianne Moore, Robert Hayden, and more recently Lyn Hejinian, Adrienne Rich, Denise Levertov, Jay Wright, Charles Simic, and Claudia Rankine. Fellows are nominated and elected by the Academy’s Board of Chancellors. The current Chancellors are Frank Bidart, Rita Dove, Robert Hass, Lyn Hejinian, Galway Kinnell, Nathaniel Mackey, Sharon Olds, Carl Phillips, Robert Pinsky, Kay Ryan, Gary Snyder, Gerald Stern, Susan Stewart, James Tate, Ellen Bryant Voigt, and C. K. Williams.

About the Academy of American Poets
The Academy of American Poets is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization founded in 1934 to foster appreciation for contemporary poetry and to support American poets at all stages of their careers. For over three generations, the Academy has connected millions of people to great poetry through programs such as National Poetry Month, the largest literary celebration in the world; Poets.org, the most popular site about poetry on the web, presenting a wealth of great poems, audio recordings, poet biographies, essays, and interactive discussions about poetry; the Poetry Audio Archive, capturing the voices of contemporary American poets for generations to come; American Poet, a biannual literary journal; and our annual series of poetry readings and special events. The Academy also awards prizes to accomplished poets at all stages of their careers—from hundreds of student prizes at colleges nationwide to the Wallace Stevens Award for lifetime achievement in the art of poetry.