Mark Strand

Poems by Mark Strand

Old Man Leaves Party

The Garden

For Her

  Mark Strand

Mark Strand's poems are known for clarity and a deeply inward sense of language.  He has been described as existential, playful, mysterious—a poet of simple words and sentences that add up to powerful universal experiences, whether the subject is “delirious” dancing, oldsters on a nursing home porch, the last seven words of Christ, or dreams of pink bulls and Hollywood stars. With his incantatory language and radiant imagery, he creates mythic scenes that, however otherworldly, are ultimately of this earth: their underlying subject is the pain and pleasure of being mortal.  

The New York Times Book  Review praised Strand’s work for its “shimmering sense of the infinite,” adding that “his apparently simple lines have the eerie, seductive ring of the inevitable.” Donna Seaman, in her Booklist review of Strand’s latest book, Man and Camel (Knopf 2006), calls Strand “a riddler, at once vatic and comedic” and “a fabulist in the manner of Borges and Calvino.” Poetry magazine has said of his work:  “It is hard to think of a poet whose ambition so consistently matches his execution.  To read through Strand from his first book through the present is to see a single course pursued with exquisite precision.”

A former US Poet Laureate, Strand is the author of eleven books of poems, including Blizzard of One, which won the Pulitzer Prize for poetry in 1999.  He has authored a collection of short stories, several volumes of translations, anthologies, three children’s books and several monographs on contemporary artists, as well.

His honors include the Bollingen Prize, three grants from the National Endowment of the Arts, a National Institute of Arts and Letters award, the 1974 Edgar Allen Poe Prize from the Academy of American Poets, as well as awards from The Academy of American Poets, and the MacArthur, Rockefeller, and Ingram Merrill foundations.  A former Chancellor of The Academy of American Poets, Strand currently teaches English and Comparative Literature at Columbia University.



Poetry Center Reading:
Fall 2008