Galway Kinnell was an award-winning poet best known for poetry that connects the experiences of daily life to much larger poetic, spiritual, and cultural forces. Often focusing on the claims of nature and society on the individual, Kinnell’s poems explore psychological states in precise and sonorous free verse.

Critic Morris Dickstein called Kinnell “one of the true master poets of his generation.” Dickstein added, “there are few others writing today in whose work we feel so strongly the full human presence.” Robert Langbaum observed in the American Poetry Review that “at a time when so many poets are content to be skillful and trivial, [Kinnell] speaks with a big voice about the whole of life.” Marked by his early experiences as a Civil Rights and anti-war activist, Kinnell’s socially-engaged verse broadened in his later years to seek the essential in human nature, often by engaging the natural and animal worlds. With a remarkable career spanning many decades, Kinnell’s Selected Poems (1980) won both a Pulitzer Prize and a National Book Award.

www.poetryfoundation.org


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