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2000 CELEBRITY JUDGE

Robert Pinksy ROBERT PINSKY
Robert Pinsky is the thirty-ninth Poet Laureate of the United States, poetry editor of the online journal Slate and a contributor to The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer on PBS. He teaches in the graduate writing program at Boston University. His The Figured Wheel: New and Collected Poems 1965-1995 published by Farrar, Straus & Giroux in 1996, was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize in poetry and also received the Lenore Marshall Award and the Ambassador Book Award of the English Speaking Union. His book-length poem An Explanation of America, awarded the Saxifrage Prize when it was first published in 1980, has been published by Princeton University Press in a new edition. History of My Heart, chosen for the 1985 William Carlos Williams Prize of the Poetry Society of America, has also been published in a new edition by Farrar, Straus & Giroux. His Collection of essays, Poetry and the World, was nominated for the National Book Critics Circle award in criticism. He is also co-translator of The Separate Notebooks, poems by Nobel Prize winner Czeslaw Milosz. His book The Inferno of Dante, a new verse translation, was awarded the Los Angeles Times Book Award in poetry and the Howard Morton Landon Prize for translation. A Book-of-the Month-Club Editor's Choice, The Inferno of Dante appeared on the Best Sellers lists of the Boston Globe and New York Newsday. It has been celebrated by Stephen Greenblatt as "the premier modern text for English-language readers to experience Dante's power."

In September, 1998, two new books by Robert Pinsky appeared: The Sounds of Poetry: A Brief Guide (Farrar, Straus & Giroux) and The Handbook of Heartbreak, and anthology (Morrow.) In 1996, Pinsky received the Shelley Memorial Award from the Poetry Society of America. His writing has also won awards from the Guggenheim Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts and the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters. He is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

His work has appeared in numerous magazines and anthologies including Antaeus, The New Yorker, Paris Review, The Norton Anthology of Modern Poetry, The Harper American Literature, The Harvard Book of Contemporary Poetry and The Vintage Book of Contemporary Poetry, Best Poems of 1990, Best Poems of 1991, Best Poems of 1992. Before coming to BU he taught at Wellesley and Berkeley, and from 1979 to 1986 he was poetry editor of The New Republic.

About Robert Pinsky's first book of poems Robert Lowell wrote: "it is refreshing to find a poet who is intellectually interesting and technically first-rate. Robert Pinsky belongs to that rarest category of talent, a poet-critic." Writing in the TLS, William Pritchard called SADNESS AND HAPPINESS "the best work by any younger poet within recent memory." Louis Martz wrote of Pinsky "the most exhilarating new poet that I have read since A.R. Ammons entered upon the scene. In his peculiar and original combination of abstract utterance and vivid image Pinsky points the way toward the future of poetry." Hugh Kenner has described Pinsky's ambition as "nothing less than the recovery for language of a whole domain of mute and familiar experience."
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