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Encyclopedia > Carolyn Kizer

Carolyn Ashley Kizer (born December 10, 1925) is a Pulitzer Prize-winning American poet of the Pacific Northwest whose works reflect her feminism. December 10 is the 344th day (345th in leap years) of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... 1925 (MCMXXV) was a common year starting on Thursday (link will take you to calendar). ... The Pulitzer Prize for Poetry has been presented since 1922 for a distinguished volume of original verse by an American author. ...

"Kizer reaches into mythology in poems like “Semele Recycled”; into politics, into feminism, especially in her series of poems called “Pro Femina”; into science, the natural world, music, and translations and commentaries on Japanese and Chinese literatures," according to an article on Kizer at the Center for the Study of the Pacific Northwest Web site.[1]

Kizer was born in Seattle, Washington, she was the daughter of a socially prominent Seattle couple,[2] Nickname: The Lilac City Location of Spokane in Spokane County and Washington Coordinates: Country United States State Washington County Spokane Mayor Dennis P. Hession Area    - City 151. ... Official language(s) None Capital Olympia Largest city Seattle Area  Ranked 18th  - Total 71,342 sq mi (184,824 km²)  - Width 240 miles (385 km)  - Length 360 miles (580 km)  - % water 6. ... Nickname: The Emerald City Location of Seattle in King County and Washington Coordinates: Country United States State Washington County King County Incorporated December 2 1869 Mayor Greg Nickels (D) Area    - City 369. ...

Her father, Benjamin Hamilton Kizer, was 50 when she was born. Her mother, Mabel Ashley Kizer, was a professor of biology who had received her doctorate from Stanford University.[3] Stanford redirects here. ...

Kizer was once asked if she agreed with a description of her father as someone who "came across as supremely structured, intelligent, polite but always somewhat remote". Her reply: "Add 'authoritarian and severe', and you get a pretty good approximation of how he appeared to that stranger, his child". At times, she related, her father gave her the same "viscera-shriveling" voice she heard him use later on "members of the House Un-American Activities Committee and other villains of the 50’s, to even more devastating effect", and, she added, "I almost forgave him."[1]

After graduating from Lewis and Clark High School in Spokane, she went on to get her bachelor's degree from Sarah Lawrence College (where she studied comparative mythologies with Joseph Campbell) in 1945 and study as a graduate at both Columbia University (1945-46) and the University of Washington (1946-47). Sarah Lawrence College is a highly selective, private, coeducational liberal arts college located in metropolitan New York City. ... Joseph Campbell For other uses, see Joseph Campbell (disambiguation). ... Columbia University is a private university whose main campus lies in the Morningside Heights neighborhood of the Borough of Manhattan in New York City. ... The University of Washington, founded in 1861, is a public research university in Seattle, Washington. ...

She then moved back to Washington state, married Stimson Bullitt, from a wealthy and influential Seattle family, had three children and divorced. In 1954 she enrolled in a creative writing workshop run by poet Theodore Roethke. "Kizer had three small kids, a big house on North Capitol Hill, enough money to get by and more than enough talent and determination. And although one of her poems had been published in The New Yorker when she was 17, she remembers that she needed a nudge from Roethke to get serious."[4] Theodore Huebner Roethke (; RET-key) (May 25, 1908 – August 1, 1963) was a United States poet, who published several volumes of poetry characterized by its rhythm and natural imagery. ...

In 1959, she helped found Poetry Northwest and served as its editor until 1965.[4]

She then became a she was "Specialist in Literature" for the U.S. State Department in Pakistan from 1965–1966, during which time she taught for several months in that country. In in 1966 she became the first director of Literary Programs for the newly created National Endowment for the Arts. She resigned that post in 1970, when the N.E.A. chairman, Roger L. Stevens, was fired by President Richard Nixon. She was a consultant to the N.E.A. for the following year.[5] The United States Department of State, often referred to as the State Department, is the Cabinet-level foreign affairs agency of the United States government, equivalent to foreign ministries in other countries. ... The National Endowment for the Arts is a United States federally funded program that offers support and funding for projects that exhibit artistic excellence. ... Richard Milhous Nixon (January 9, 1913 – April 22, 1994) was the 37th President of the United States, serving from 1969 to 1974. ...

In the 1970s and 1980s, she held appointments as poet-in-residence or lecturer at universities across the country, including Columbia, Stanford, Princeton and San Jose State Universityand has been a visiting writer at literary conferences and events across the country, as well as in Dublin, Ireland, and Paris.[5] Stanford redirects here. ... Princeton University is a coeducational private university located in Princeton, New Jersey in the United States of America. ... San Jose State University San José State University, commonly shortened to San Jose State and SJSU, is the oldest university in what became the California State University system. ... WGS-84 (GPS) Coordinates: 53. ... City flag City coat of arms Motto: Fluctuat nec mergitur (Latin: Tossed by the waves, she does not sink) Location Coordinates Time Zone CET (GMT +1) Administration Country France Région ÃŽle-de-France Département Paris (75) Subdivisions 20 arrondissements Mayor Bertrand Delanoë  (PS) (since 2001) City Statistics Land...

She was appointed to the post of Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets in 1995, but resigned three years later to protest the absence of women and minorities on the governing board.[6] I

Kizer is married to the architect-historian, John Marshall Woodbridge. When she is not teaching and lecturing, she divides her time between their home in Sonoma, California and their apartment in Paris.[5] Sonoma City Hall in the town plaza Sonoma is a historically significant town in Sonoma Valley, Sonoma County, California, USA. Sonoma is centered around its historic town plaza, a remnant of the towns Spanish colonial past. ... Official language(s) English Capital Sacramento Largest city Los Angeles Area  Ranked 3rd  - Total 158,302 sq mi (410,000 km²)  - Width 250 miles (400 km)  - Length 770 miles (1,240 km)  - % water 4. ...



By Kizer

  • Pro Femina: A Poem (BkMk Press, 2000)
  • Cool, Calm & Collected: Poems 1960-2000 (Copper Canyon Press, 2001)
  • Harping On: Poems 1985-1995 (Copper Canyon Press, 1996)
  • The Nearness of You: Poems for Men (1986)
  • Yin (1984), which won the Pulitzer Prize
  • Mermaids in the Basement: Poems for Women (1984)
  • Midnight Was My Cry: New and Selected Poems (1971)
  • Knock Upon Silence (1965)
  • The Ungrateful Garden (1961)
  • Picking and Choosing: Prose on Prose (1995),
  • Proses: Essays on Poets and Poetry (1994), and
  • Carrying Over: Translations from Chinese, Urdu, Macedonian, Hebrew and French-African (1986)

Edited by Kizer

  • 100 Great Poems by Women (1995)
  • The Essential Clare (1992)

About Kizer and her work

  • Carolyn Kizer, Perspectives on her Life and Work (CavanKerry Press, 2001), a collection of critical prose, interviews, and poetry


The Pulitzer Prize for Poetry has been presented since 1922 for a distinguished volume of original verse by an American author. ... The Theodore Roethke Memorial Poetry Prize is an American poetry prize given once every three years since being established in 1967. ... American Academy of Arts and Letters is an organization whose goal is to foster, assist, and sustain an interest in American literature, music, and art. ... The Pushcart Prize - Best of the small Presses series, published every year since 1976, is the most honored literary project in America. ... The Frost Medal is an award of the Poetry Society of America for lifetime achievement. ...

See also

It has been suggested that this article or section be merged with Poetry prizes. ... Thousands of poetry awards and prizes are given throughout the world, ranging from very well-respected down through ones that are nothing more than con schemes designed to milk gullible would-be poets. ...


  1. ^ a b [1] accessed November 1, 2006
  2. ^ Eastern Washington University Press Web site, Web page titled "Picking and Choosing: Essays on Prose by Carolyn Kiser"
  3. ^ [2]Notable Names Database Web site, Web page titled "Carolyn Kizer"
  4. ^ a b [3]Zahler, Richard, article from the Seattle Times, (no specific date) 1985, as reprinted at the University of Washington English Department Web site, Web page titled: "Theodore Roethke Memorial Poetry Readings: Carolyn Kizer Interview (1985)"
  5. ^ a b c [4]New York State Writers Institute of the State University of New York Web site, Web page titled "Carolyn Kizer: September 29, 1999 (Wednesday)", accessed November 1, 2006
  6. ^

November 1 is the 305th day of the year (306th in leap years) in the Gregorian Calendar, with 60 days remaining. ... 2006 (MMVI) is a common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ... November 1 is the 305th day of the year (306th in leap years) in the Gregorian Calendar, with 60 days remaining. ... 2006 (MMVI) is a common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ...

External links

  • [5] Biographical article on Kizer at "Center for the Study of the Pacific Northwest" Web site

Poems online

  • [6] "A Muse of Water", "Amusing Our Daughters", "Fanny," "Lines to Accompany Flowers for Eve", "Pro Femina", "Summer near the River", "The Erotic Philosophers", "The Great Blue Heron", "The Intruder", "Through a Glass Eye, Lightly"
  • [7] "Fearful Woman' '
  • [8] "American Beauty"


  • [9] New York Times review of ' 'The Nearness of You' ' (March 22, 1987)



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