Robert Pinsky was born in 1940 and raised in Long Branch, New Jersey. He attended Rutgers College and Stanford University, where he held a Stegner Fellowship in Creative Writing. In the spring of 1997, Mr. Pinsky was appointed Poet Laureate of the United States.
Mr. Pinsky is the author of six books of poetry: Sadness and Happiness: Poems (1975); An Explanation of America (1979), awarded the 1980 Saxifrage Prize for the best book of poetry published by a small or university press; History of My Heart (1984), awarded the William Carlos Williams Prize of the Poetry Society of America, to be reissued by The Noonday Press this season; The Want Bone (1990); The Figured Wheel: New and Collected Poems 1966-1996, awarded The Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize for 1997, co-administered annually by the Academy of American Poets and The Nation for the most outstanding book of poems published in the United States by an American; and Jersey Rain. Mr. Pinsky’s poetry, essays, and translations have also won awards from the Guggenheim Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters, among other organizations.
Mr. Pinsky’s critically acclaimed translation The Inferno of Dante––published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux in 1994––was awarded the Los Angeles Times Book Prize and the Harold Morton Landon Translation Award given by the Academy of American Poets. He is also co-translator of The Separate Notebooks, poems by the Nobel Laureate Czeslaw Milosz (1983), and the author of three collections of essays: The Situation of Poetry (1977); Poetry and the World (1988), nominated for the National Book Critics Circle Award in criticism; and The Sounds of Poetry (1999).
Mr. Pinsky’s work has appeared in numerous magazines and anthologies, including Antaeus, The New Yorker, The Paris Review, and The Norton Anthology of Modern Poetry.
Mr. Pinsky has taught at the University of California at Berkeley and Wellesley College. From 1979 to 1986 he was the poetry editor of The New Republic. In 1995 he was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Letters. A professor of English and Creative Writing at Boston University, Robert Pinsky lives in Newton Corner, Massachusetts.