Robert Pinsky, the author of the new memoir Jersey Breaks: Becoming an American Poet (W.W. Norton, 2022), served as poet laureate of the United States from 1997 to 2000. During his tenure he created the Favorite Poem Project to document, promote, and celebrate poetry’s place in American culture. In addition to three anthologies co-edited by Pinsky, Americans’ Favorite Poems, Poems to Read, and An Invitation to Poetry, the project has produced fifty short documentaries showcasing Americans reading and speaking about poems they love.
He has published nine collections of his own poetry, most recently At the Foundling Hospital (2016) and Selected Poems (2011), both from Farrar, Straus & Giroux. The Figured Wheel: New and Collected Poems 1966-1996 was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize and received both the Lenore Marshall Award and the Ambassador Book Award of the English Speaking Union. His other awards include the Shelley Memorial Award, the William Carlos Williams Prize, the PEN/Voelcker Award, the Korean Manhae Award, and the Los Angeles Times Book Award, as well as the Howard Morton Landon Translation Prize for his bestselling verse translation of The Inferno of Dante. Among his other prose works are The Sounds of Poetry: A Brief Guide and Thousands of Broadways: Dreams and Nightmares of the American Small Town. Poemjazz, his CD with pianist Laurence Hobgood, is available from Circumstantial Productions.
Pinsky directs the graduate writing program at Boston University and is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and AGNI’s Advisory Board. (updated 4/2022)
Pinsky’s collections Poetry and the World and The Want Bone were reviewed in AGNI 36 by Peter Sacks. His translation of The Inferno was reviewed in AGNI 41 by Alfred Corn. Pinsky’s collection The Figured Wheel: New and Collected Poems was reviewed in AGNI 44 by Thom Gunn.