blackbird spring 2002 vol.1 no. 1



David Wojahn is the author of six collections of poetry: Spirit Cabinet (2002), The Falling Hour (1997), Late Empire (1994), Mystery Train (1990), and Glassworks (1987, winner of the Society of Midland Authors Award), all from the University of Pittsburgh; and Icehouse Lights (1982, winner of the Yale Younger Poets Award). He is also the author of Strange Good Fortune (University of Arkansas, 2001), a collection of essays on contemporary verse. He is the editor (with Jack Myers) of A Profile of Twentieth Century American Poetry (Southern Illinois University, 1991). He also edited The Only World (HarperPerennial, 1995), a posthumous collection of Lynda Hull’s poetry. He has received fellowships from the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, the Illinois Arts Council, the Indiana Arts Commission, and the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, as well as writing residencies from the Yaddo and McDowell colonies. Among his other awards and honors are the Amy Lowell Poetry Traveling Scholarship; the William Carlos Williams Award and the Celia B. Wagner Award from the Poetry Society of America; Vermont College’s Crowley/Weingarten Award for Excellence in Teaching; the George Kent Prize from Poetry magazine, and three Pushcart Prizes. His poetry, essays and reviews have appeared in many journals and anthologies, among them The Paris Review, The New Yorker, The Best American Poetry series, The American Poetry Review, The New York Times Book Review, The Chicago Tribune, The Kenyon Review, New England Review, The Georgia Review, and TriQuarterly. Wojahn teaches at Virginia Commonwealth University and in the low-residency MFA program at Vermont College. He lives in Richmond, Virginia.  



James Harms is Director of the West Virginia Writers' Workshop as well as the MFA Program in Creative Writing at West Virginia University. He is the author of four books of poetry from Carnegie Mellon, Freeways and Aqueducts (2004), Quarters (2001), The Joy Addict (1998), and Modern Ocean (1992), as well as a limited edition letterpress volume, East of Avalon (2000). He is the recipient of the PEN/Revson Fellowship and two Pushcart Prizes, as well as awards and fellowships from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, West Virginia Commission on the Arts, the Bread Loaf Writers' Conference, the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching and others. His poems, essays and stories have appeared in such journals as Poetry, The American Poetry Review, The Kenyon Review, Denver Quarterly, The Antioch Review, The Gettysburg Review, Ploughshares, TriQuarterly, Chicago Review, Verse, and elsewhere.  



William Matthews was born in Cincinnati, Ohio and earned a BA from Yale and an MA from the University of North Carolina. During his lifetime he published numerous books of poetry, including Time & Money: New Poems (1996) (which won the National Book Critics Circle Award and was a finalist for the Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize), Selected Poems and Translations 1969-1991 (1992), Blues If You Want (1989), and Foreseeable Futures (1987), all from Houghton Mifflin; A Happy Childhood (1984) and Flood (1982), from Little Brown; Sleek for the Long Flight (reprinted in 1988 by White Pine Press); Rising and Falling (Atlantic Monthly, 1979); Sticks and Stones (Pentagram, 1975); and Ruining the New Road (Random House, 1970). Collections published posthumously include Search Party: Collected Poems, edited by his son Sebastian Matthews and Stanley Plumly (2004) and After All: Last Poems (1998), both from Houghton Mifflin. He was also the author of a book of essays entitled Curiosities (University of Michigan, 1989). Sebastian Matthews has also recently published In My Father’s Footsteps: A Memoir (Norton, 2004).

William Matthews served as president of the Associated Writing Programs and of the Poetry Society of America, and as a member and chair of the Literature Panel of the National Endowment for the Arts. He received fellowships from the John Simon Guggenheim and Ingram Merrill foundations, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Lila Wallace-Reader's Digest Fund, and in 1997 he was awarded the Ruth Lilly Prize. At the time of his death he was a professor of English and director of the creative writing program at New York's City College. William Matthews died of a heart attack on November 12, 1997, the day after his fifty-fifth birthday. 

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