Jorie Graham

Pulitzer Prize-winning Poet

Readings &
Lecture Topics
  • The Role of The Poet in Our Times
  • Sea Change: Poetry & The Environment
  • An Evening with Jorie Graham

Biography

“Graham’s work pulls forward our mythical, historical, environmental, and personal narratives in order to inhabit our most ordinary and collective experiences. Hers is the patience of the return; repetition in her work unearths the nuances of fundamental desires to live, to love, to be.” —Claudia Rankine

“One of the most intelligent poets in the language . . . [Graham] is like no one else, neither in her rhythms nor in her insistence on opening up, scrutinizing, and even reversing our experience of time and space.” —Times Literary Supplement

“Graham stands among a small group of poets (Dickinson, Hopkins, Moore), whose styles are so personal that the poems seem to have no author at all: they exist as self-made things.” —The Nation

Jorie Graham is the author of numerous collections of poetry, including the Forward Prize-winning and T.S. Eliot Prize-nominated Runaway (HarperCollins, 2020), Place (Ecco, 2012), From the New World: Poems 1976-2014 (2015), Sea Change (2008), Overlord (HarperCollins, 2005); Never (HarperCollins, 2002); Swarm (2000); The Errancy (1997); The Dream of the Unified Field: Selected Poems 1974-1994, which won the 1996 Pulitzer Prize for Poetry; Materialism (1993); Region of Unlikeness (1991); The End of Beauty (1987); Erosion (1983); and Hybrids of Plants and of Ghosts (1980). She has also edited two anthologies, Earth Took of Earth: 100 Great Poems of the English Language (1996) and The Best American Poetry 1990. Her newest collection of poetry, Fast, was released from Harper Collins in May 2017.

With her many collections of poetry, it is said that Jorie Graham has invented a new poetic language—at once lyrical and analytical, sensuous and philosophical, shifting between acceleration and breaking. Rejecting the conventional lyric, Graham creates poems that range across the page and across human experiences, dramas of faith, perception, and emotion. Her poems press language to the breaking point, but out of the ruins emerges a startling new world. As she puts it: “the infinite variety of having once been, / of being, of coming to life, right there in the thin air.”

Graham’s many honors include a John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Fellowship and the Morton Dauwen Zabel Award from The American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters. She is the recipient of the 2017 Wallace Stevens Award. Commenting on Graham’s expansive work, Academy of American Poets Chancellor Claudia Rankine says: “Her masterful poems traverse almost four decades of inquiry into what it means to be in relation. Her work pulls forward our mythical, historical, environmental, and personal narratives in order to inhabit our most ordinary and collective experiences. Hers is the patience of the return; repetition in her work unearths the nuances of fundamental desires to live, to love, to be. Clear-eyed and with a scope that encompasses what is both known and unknown, her fifteen collections have built towards a brilliant insistence on presence.” In 2013 she received the prestigious thirty-eighth Nonino Prize. In 2016, Graham won the LA Times Book Award Prize in Poetry for From the New World. She has taught at the University of Iowa Writers’ Workshop and is currently the Boylston Professor of Rhetoric and Oratory at Harvard University. She served as a Chancellor of The Academy of American Poets from 1997 to 2003. She lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and in the Litchfield Hills of Connecticut.

Short Bio

Jorie Graham is the author of numerous collections of poetry, including RunawayFrom the New World: Poems 1976-2014, Place, which won the Forward Prize in 2012, and The Dream of the Unified Field: Selected Poems 1974-1994, winner of the 1996 Pulitzer prize for Poetry. Her other poetry collections include Fast, Sea Change, Overlord, Never, Swarm, The Errancy, Materialism, Region of Unlikeness, The End of Beauty, Erosion, and Hybrids of Plants and Ghosts. She served as a Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets from 1997 to 2003 and has also edited two anthologies, Earth Took of Earth: 100 Great Poems of the English Language and Best American Poetry 1990. She is the Boylston Professor of Rhetoric and Oratory at Harvard University, the first woman to be awarded the position.

Visit Author Website

Videos

Publications

Articles & Audio

Selected Writings

Download Assets

Let’s get started

If you’re interested in this speaker, complete this form to begin the conversation.