January 31—Tree Swenson, Executive Director of the Academy of American Poets, announced today that Rita Dove, Gerald Stern, and Kay Ryan have been elected to the Board of Chancellors, the Academy’s advisory board of distinguished poets. They join current Chancellors Frank Bidart, Robert Hass, Susan Howe, Galway Kinnell, Philip Levine, Nathaniel Mackey, Robert Pinsky, Susan Stewart, Gary Snyder, James Tate, Ellen Bryant Voigt, and C.K. Williams.
Rita Dove served as Poet Laureate of the United States from 1993 to 1995. Her many books of poetry include Thomas and Beulah (W.W. Norton & Co., 1986), which won the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry, and, most recently, American Smooth (2004). In 2004 she was named Poet Laureate of the Commonwealth of Virginia and is Commonwealth Professor of English at the University of Virginia. For a complete biography, poems, and audio clips visit www.poets.org/rdove.
“It delights me to no end to be elected as a Chancellor and to have been elected alongside the wonderfully fine poets Rita Dove and Kay Ryan,” said Gerald Stern. Mr. Stern’s books of poetry include This Time: New and Selected Poems (W.W. Norton, 1998), which won the National Book Award, and, most recently, Everything Is Burning (2005). He was, for many years, a teacher at the University of Iowa Writers’ Workshop. In 2005, Mr. Stern received the Wallace Stevens Award from the Academy of American Poets for mastery in the art of poetry. For a complete biography, poems, and audio clips , visit www.poets.org/gster.
Kay Ryan noted that she was honored to be elected because “this is an election by poets, themselves elected by other poets, going all the way back to Jeffers, Auden, and Marianne Moore.” Ms. Ryan’s most recent book is The Niagra River (Grove Press, 2005). Her awards include the Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize and a Guggenheim Fellowship. She lives in the San Francisco Bay area, where she teaches at the College of Marin. For a complete biography, visit www.poets.org/kryan.
The Academy’s Board of Chancellors was established in 1946 for the purpose of electing Academy Fellows, and to advise the Academy on literary matters. Chancellors of the Academy have included Marianne Moore, W. H. Auden, Robert Lowell, Elizabeth Bishop, John Berryman, Robert Penn Warren, and James Merrill, among others. Recipients of the annual Fellowship have included poets E. E. Cummings, Robert Frost, Ezra Pound, William Carlos Williams, Robert Hayden, and more recently, Charles Simic, Gwendolyn Brooks, Lyn Hejinian, and Sharon Olds.
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; and American Poet, a biannual literary journal. 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. For more information, visit www.poets.org.