Derek Walcott was born in 1930 in the town of Castries in Saint Lucia, one of the Windward Islands in the Lesser Antilles. The experience of growing up on the isolated volcanic island, an ex-British colony, has had a strong influence on Walcott's life and work. Both his grandmothers were said to have been the descendants of slaves. His father, a Bohemian watercolourist, died when Derek and his twin brother, Roderick, were only a few years old. His mother ran the town's Methodist school. He studied at St.
Richard Siken was educated at the University of Arizona and currently lives in Tucson, Arizona, where he is a full-time social worker caring for developmentally disabled adults. He also coedits Spork Press, which published the quarterly literary magazine Spork from 2001 to 2010 and continues to issue it occasionally, along with chapbooks and novels. To make these dual lives possible, Siken has regularly worked twenty-hour shifts on the weekend to free up time to edit for the press and write his poetry during the week.
Timothy Steele was born in Burlington, Vermont, and educated at Stanford and Brandeis. Partly because of his early commitment to meter and rhyme when free verse dominated the contemporary scene—and partly because he has theorized the formal choices available to poets in his critical book Missing Measures: Modern Poetry and the Revolt against Meter (1990)—Steele has become a leading figure in the loosely defined New Formalist movement. Steele also wrote a textbook, All the Fun's in How You Say a Thing: An Explanation of Meter and Versification (1999).
Through the course of a long and productive career, William Heyen has regularly returned to the Holocaust as a subject. Thus we open this selection from his work with his frequently anthologized poem “Riddle.” But in many ways his most remarkable achievement is the book-length poem sequence Crazy Horse in Stillness (1996), which consists of a 464-poem “dialogue” between the great Ogalala Lakota war chief Crazy Horse (c.
While Crane is best known for his novel The Red Badge of Courage (1895) and for his short stories, he also wrote two volumes of poetry, The Black Riders and Other Lines (1895) and War Is Kind (1899).
Arguably the greatest poet of his generation, Yeats produced World War I poetry pervaded by a sense of impending violence.
Owen’s iconic war poems, composed in the year before he was killed in France, are in many ways the most influential to have come out of World War I.