Pastan grew up in New York City, graduated from Radcliffe College in 1954, and
received an MA from Brandeis University. She has published 14 volumes of
poetry, most recently Insomnia. Two of these books have been finalists
for the National Book Award, one for The Los Angeles Times Book Prize. She
taught for several years at American University and was on the staff of the
Bread Loaf Writer’s Conference for 20 years. She has won numerous awards,
including The Radcliffe Distinguished Alumni Award and The Maurice English
Award. In 2003 she won the Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize for lifetime achievement.
Pastan lives with her husband in Potomac, Maryland. They have 3 children and 7
Statement of Poetics
My only “theory” of poetics I learned from William Stafford and his wonderful essay “Writing the Australian Crawl”: To follow a poem wherever it leads you, thus learning what you didn’t know you knew.In other words, to embrace the mystery.
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