Unfinished, the road turns off the fill
from the gulf coast, tracing the bay, to follow
the inland waterway. I lose it in the gritty
limbo of scrub pine, the once wealth
—infantile again, and lean—of lumber barons,
now vested in the state, now sanctuary for renegades
and shamans, for
Gregory Pardlo was born in Philadelphia in 1968.
He is the author of Digest (Four Way Books, 2014), which received the 2015 Pulitzer Prize in Poetry and was shortlisted for the 2015 NAACP Image Award, and Totem (American Poetry Review), which was selected by Brenda Hillman for the American Poetry Review/Honickman Prize in 2007. Pardlo is also the author of Air Traffic, a memoir in essays forthcoming from Alfred A. Knopf in 2018.
Of his work, Cyrus Cassells writes, “Pardlo is a modern griot and shape-shifter, a Prospero of unforced allusion: an up-for-anything Pardlo poem can deftly evoke sociology, jazz, lofty philosophy, African-American lit, Russian cinema, Greek mythology, European travel, film noir, hip hop, and a host of other topics.”
Pardlo is the recipient of fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the New York Foundation for the Arts, among others. He is the poetry editor of Virginia Quarterly Review and lives with his family in Brooklyn, New York.
Digest (Four Way Books, 2014)
Totem (American Poetry Review, 2007)