W. H. Auden

Wystan Hugh Auden was born in York, England, but emigrated to the United States in January 1939. He is thus claimed on both sides of the ocean. That year Auden also fell in love with the American writer Chester Kallman, who became his lifetime partner. Auden took American citizenship in 1946, but thereafter he divided his time between New York and southern Italy.

Alberto Rios

Alberto Alvaro Ríos was born in the city of Nogales, Arizona, on the Mexican border. His mother was British and his father Mexican. Ríos was educated at University of Arizona and now teaches at Arizona State University. His poetry has been set to music in a cantata by James DeMars called "Toto's Say” and also adapted to both dance and popular music. As “Madre Sofía” demonstrates, there is a distinctive strain of magical realism in his work, something he is adept at sustaining in verse narratives.

W. E. B. DuBois

William Edward Burghardt Du Bois is perhaps America’s single most influential black writer. His analytical and autobiographical The Souls of Black Folk (1903) introduced the defining concept of a racialized double-consciousness.

Donald Justice

Donald Justice was born in Miami and educated at Miami University, the University of North Carolina, and the University of Iowa. He taught for a number of years first at Iowa and then at the University of Florida. Several important contemporary poets—including Jorie Graham, Mark Strand, and Charles Wright—were among his students. His career began with witty and technically exquisite poems like “The Wall” and “An Old Fashioned Devil,” then moved to a reflection on his own work in “Early Poems,” and finally moved to the more open and meditative style of “Absences” and “Presences.”

Thomas James

Thomas James was born Thomas Edward Bojeski in Joliet, Illinois, the city in which he lived most of his life. The obvious predecessor who was his inspiration was Sylvia Plath. As a reviewer writes in the Boston Review years later, “like the Ariel sequence, James’s poems fondle and embroider the delicate veil between life and death.” James died in 1974 at his own hand at the age of twenty-seven, just after the first publication of his only book, Letters to a Stranger.

Andrew Hudgins

Andrew Hudgins was born in Killeen, Texas, as part of a military family. That entailed relocating through the South repeatedly while he was growing up. Some of that comes through in his verse autobiography The Glass Hammer: A Southern Childhood (1994). His essay collection The Glass Anvil (1997) takes up both his personal poetics and the complexities of childhood memory. Hudgins was educated at Huntingdon College, the University of Alabama, and the University of Iowa.