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About this poet

Anne Carson was born in Toronto, Ontario on June 21, 1950. With the help of a high school Latin instructor, she learned ancient Greek, which contributed to her continuing interest in classical and Hellenic literature. She attended St. Michael's College at the University of Toronto and, despite leaving twice, received her BA in 1974, her MA in 1975 and her PhD in 1981. She also studied Greek metrics for a year at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland.

Since bursting onto the international poetry scene in 1987 with her long poem "Kinds of Water," Carson has published numerous books of poetry including Short Talks (Brick Books, 1992); Glass, Irony and God (New Directions, 1995), which was shortlisted for the Forward Prize; Plainwater: Essays and Poetry (Knopf, 1996); Autobiography of Red (Knopf, 1998), short listed for the National Book Critics Circle Award and the T.S. Eliot Prize; The Beauty of the Husband: A Fictional Essay in 29 Tangos (Knopf, 2001), winner of the T.S. Eliot Prize for Poetry; and NOX (New Directions, 2010). Her most recent books are Red Doc> (Knopf, 2013) and Antigonick (New Directions, 2015).

Carson is also a Classics scholar, the translator of Electra (Oxford University Press, 2001); If Not, Winter: Fragments of Sappho (Knopf, 2002); An Oresteia (Faber and Faber, 2009), and the author of Eros the Bittersweet (Princeton University Press, 1986).

Reviewers have praised the range of Carson's verse, consistently describing her poetry as inventive, visionary, and highly unique. Scholars often discuss the influence of her academic history; Roger Gilbert has noted, "unlike many academic poets she deploys her scholarly voice as a dramatic instrument whose expressive power lies partly in its fragility."

Her awards and honors include the Lannan Literary Award, the Pushcart Prize, the Griffin Poetry Prize, a Guggenheim fellowship, and the MacArthur Fellowship. She was also the Anna-Maria Kellen Fellow at the American Academy in Berlin, Germany.

Carson was the Director of Graduate Studies in Classics at McGill University and taught at Princeton University from 1980-1987. She has also taught classical languages and literature at Emory University, California College of the Arts, the University of California, Berkeley, and the University of Michigan. She currently teaches in New York University’s creative writing program.

Nox [Excerpts]

Anne Carson, 1950

gentes, gens gentis, feminine noun...
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1.2 Autopsy is a term historians use of the " eyewitnessing"
of data or events...
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per, see above per...
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mutam, mutus muta mutum adjective...
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From Nox, published by New Directions. Copyright © 2010 by Anne Carson. Used by permission of the publisher. All rights reserved.

From Nox, published by New Directions. Copyright © 2010 by Anne Carson. Used by permission of the publisher. All rights reserved.

Anne Carson

Anne Carson

Anne Carson’s most recent books are Antigonick (New Directions, 2015) and...

by this poet


A bird flashed by as if mistaken then it
starts.  We do not think speed of life. 
We do not think why hate Jezebel?  We
think who’s that throwing trees against
the house?  Jezebel was a  Phoenician.
Phoenician thunderstorms are dry and
frightening, they arrive one inside the