Profile of 'Genius Award' Winner Heather McHugh

JIM LEHRER: And finally, another in our ongoing series on poets and poetry. Tonight, Heather McHugh. She was just today awarded a MacArthur fellowship, popularly known as the genius award. McHugh is author of more than a dozen books of poetry, translation and essays.

Her newest collection, "Upgraded to Serious," will be published in November.

HEATHER MCHUGH, poet: My name is Heather McHugh. I live in Seattle, and I take breaks in glorious Victoria, B.C.

I have always lived on waterfronts. If you live on the edge of an enormous mountain or an enormous body of water, it's harder to think of yourself as being so important. That seems useful to me, spiritually.

My father was a marine biologist. There's something of that gene in me, probably, to study the creatures that move in fluent, fluid ways.