Robert Pinsky was born in Long Branch, New Jersey. He teaches in a graduate writing programme at Boston University. He is the author of six books of poetry.
Robert Lowell, reviewing Pinsky’s debut collection, Sadness and Happiness, wrote: ‘It is refreshing to find a poet who is intellectually interesting and technically first-rate.’ The Figured Wheels is a collection of old and new poems written between 1966 and 1996. Robert Pinsky has also published translations of Dante’s Inferno and poetry of the Polish Nobel laureate Czeslaw Milosz (Pinsky himself is of Polish-Jewish origin).
In 1997 Robert Pinsky was named the United States Poet Laureate, a largely ceremonial function, normally awarded for two years, but extended to three in Pinsky’s case to allow him to complete his Favorite Poem Project, inviting all Americans to name their favourite poem. Thousands of people responded, thousand were recorded reading the poem of their choice, 250 on video.
Early in his literary career, Pinsky published a collection of essays and reviews entitled The Situation of Poetry. Another collection of essays, Poetry and the World, appeared in 1988.
[Robert Pinsky took part in the Poetry International Festival Rotterdam 2001. This text was written on that occasion.]
Pinsky on www.ibiblio.org
Pinsky on the site of The Academy of American Poets
Pinsky on the site of Steven Barclay
An interview with Pinsky in Meridian