Carolyn Kizer Biographical Note

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Born in 1925 in Spokane, Washington, Carolyn Kizer received her undergraduate degree from Sarah Lawrence College. She is the author of eight books of poetry, including Yin (1984), for which she won the Pulitzer Prize, Mermaids in the Basement: Poems for Women (1984), The Nearness of You (1986), Harping On: Poems 1985-1995 (1996), and most recently Cool, Calm & Collected (2000). She has also written Proses: On Poems & Poets (1994) and Picking & Choosing: Essays on Prose (1996), as well as edited 100 Great Poems by Women: A Golden Ecco Anthology (1995).

In 1959 she founded Poetry Northwest, and served as its editor from its inception until 1965, when she became the first literature director at the National Endowment for the Arts. Kizer has also served as poet-in-residence and taught at several prestigious universities.

Kizer's honors include the Frost Medal, the American Academy of Arts and Letters award, the John Masefield Memorial Award, the Theodore Roethke Memorial Poetry Prize. She is a also a former Chancellor of The Academy of American Poets. When she is not teaching and lecturing, she spends her time in her homes in California and Paris.