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date: 23 July 2024

Kinnell, Galwaylocked

Kinnell, Galwaylocked

  • Sean McDonnell


Galway Kinnell was born to Irish and Scottish immigrants on 1 February 1927 in Providence, Rhode Island, and raised in the nearby town of Pawtucket. He studied at Princeton University, where he befriended W. S. Merwin, with whom he would share a lifelong literary friendship. After graduating in 1948, he earned a master's degree from the University of Rochester the following year. While Kinnell has spent much of his time in the American Northeast, especially in New York City and New England, he has also traveled widely, living and teaching in France, Spain, Iran, and Australia. His books of poems, volumes of translations, and other works (including one novel and one book of interviews) have established him as a major voice in post–World War II American poetry. He earned widespread acclaim for Selected Poems (1982), which was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for poetry and the National Book Award, and was coawarded, with Charles Wright, the American Book Award. He has also received numerous fellowships, including two Guggenheim fellowships, two grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, and a MacArthur Foundation grant. Consistently, his work asks the reader to meditate on the relation of the self to the natural world, and on the struggle to find value in a world defined largely by death.


  • North American Literatures

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