Galway Kinnell was born in Providence, Rhode Island, in 1927. He graduated from Princeton University in 1948 and received a Master of Arts degree from the University of Rochester in 1949. During the 1960s, Kinnell became involved in the Civil Rights Movement and was a field worker for CORE (Congress of Racial Equity) in the South.
Kinnell has taught at several universities, and for many years he was the Erich Maria Remarque Professor of Creative Writing at New York University. He has been a MacArthur Fellow and the state poet of Vermont. Currently, he is a Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets and lives in Vermont.
In 1983, Kinnell received both the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award for his “Selected Poems.” His books of poetry include “What a Kingdom It Was” (1960); “Flower Herding on Mount Monadnock” (1964); “Body Rags” (1968); “The Book of Nightmares” (1971); “Mortal Acts, Mortal Words” (1980); “Selected Poems” (1982); “When One Has Lived a Long Time Alone” (1990); “Imperfect Thirst” (1994); “A New Selected Poems” (2000), a finalist for the National Book Award; and “Strong Is Your Hold” (2006).
In these web exclusives below, Galway Kinnell reads more of his work and talks more with Jeffrey Brown.