Kay Ryan, a past Poet Laureate and former Chancellor of The Academy of American Poets, and the 2015 Merrill Invited Fellow, will read from her work at La Grua on July 26th. Her many honors include: the 2011 Pulitzer Prize for Poetry, the Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize, the Union League Poetry Prize, the Maurice English Poetry Award, a MacArthur “Genius Grant,” and the Fred Cody Award for Lifetime Achievement in Community and Literature.
Ryan’s poems and essays have appeared in The New Yorker, The Atlantic, Poetry, The Yale Review, Paris Review, The American Scholar, The Threepenny Review, Parnassus, and multiple times in The Best American Poetry anthology, among other journals and anthologies.
J.D. McClatchy has said: “Her poems are compact, exhilarating, strange affairs, like Erik Satie miniatures or Joseph Cornell boxes. She is an anomaly in today’s literary culture: as intense and elliptical as Dickinson, as buoyant and rueful as Frost.”
Ryan was born in California in 1945 and grew up in the small towns of the San Joaquin Valley and the Mojave Desert. She received both a bachelor’s and master’s degree from UCLA and currently lives in Northern California. She has a special connection to James Merrill’s legacy as she was also a 1995 recipient of an Ingram Merrill Award, awarded by the foundation he ran during his lifetime to support emerging writers and artists.
Reception to follow; books will be available