Poems by J. D. McClatchy

After Magritte

Honest Iago

My Mammogram


J.D. McClatchy’s contributions to American literary life are far-reaching.  In addition to formally masterful poems – his fourth and most recent volume of poetry is Ten Commandments – he is known for elegant translations and poignant essays, including those collected in White Paper, which received the Poetry Society of America’s Melville Cane Award.  McClatchy is the acclaimed editor of The Yale Review and over a dozen books, including Woman in White: Poems by Emily Dickinson, The Vintage Book of Contemporary American Poetry, and Horace’s The Art of Poetry.  He has taught at Princeton, Yale, and Columbia Universities, and over the past decade has become an accomplished librettist.  His Orpheus Descending, commissioned by the Chicago Lyric Opera for the Bruce Saylor production, premiered in 1994 and was subsequently broadcast on NPR’s “World of Opera.”  McClatchy also contributed to Tobias Picker’s Emmeline, which was telecast on PBS’s “Great Performances”. 


In 1996, McClatchy was named a Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets.  Among his other honors, he has been awarded the Fellowship of the Academy of American Poets, the Award in Literature from the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters, and grants from the Guggenheim Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts.  Edmund White, of The Los Angeles Times Sunday Book Review, writes, “[A] poet such as McClatchy ... reassure[s] us that the highest, most refining principles are still at play and that they have been applied, first and foremost, to his own poems, which are as new as they are old, as original as they are traditional.”






Poetry Center Reading:

Spring 1999