Carolyn Kizer (December 10, 1924 - October 09, 2014)
Born: 10th December, 1924
Died: 9th October, 2014
Nationality: American
Profession/Occupation: Poet
Region: Spokane, Washington, Sonoma, California
Notable works: "Yin: New Poems"

Carolyn Kizer Facts

Biography

Carolyn Kizer, in full Carolyn Ashley Kizer, (born December 10, 1924, Spokane, Washington, U.S.--died October 9, 2014, Sonoma, California), American poet whose biting satirical work reflects her involvement in feminist and human rights activities. She was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for poetry in 1985 for her collection Yin: New Poems (1984).

After attending Sarah Lawrence College (B.A., 1945), Kizer did graduate work at Columbia University (1945-46) and at the University of Washington (1946-47). In 1959 she cofounded Poetry Northwest, which she also edited from 1959 to 1965. After serving in Pakistan as literary specialist for the U.S. State Department (1964-65), she became the first director of literary programs for the National Endowment for the Arts (1966-70). Kizer lectured, taught, or was poet in residence at several universities, including the University of Iowa Writers' Workshop and Stanford, Princeton, and Columbia universities.

Kizer's published collections included Poems (1959), The Ungrateful Garden (1961), Knock upon Silence (1965), Midnight Was My Cry (1971), Mermaids in the Basement: Poems for Women (1984), The Nearness of You (1986), and Harping On: Poems 1985-1995 (1996). She also wrote Proses: On Poems and Poets (1993), Picking and Choosing (1995), and other prose pieces and edited the collection 100 Great Poems by Women (1995). Noted for her elegance and rigour, Kizer wrote with humour of her involvement with feminism and in social action. "Pro Femina," one of her best-known poems, is a satiric work about women writers. She was the recipient (1988) of the Frost Medal, awarded by the Poetry Society of America.

Top 11 Carolyn Kizer quotes

I began writing poems when I was about eight, with a heavy assist from my mother. She read me Arthur Waley's translations and Whitman and Robinson Jeffers, who have been lifelong influences on me. My father read Keats to me, and then he read more Keats while I was lying on the sofa struggling with asthma.
About
Arthur
Assist
Asthma
Been
Began
Eight
Father
He
Heavy
Influences
Keats
Lifelong
Lying
I wrote poetry off and on in high school, when I could manage to get out of gym classes and sports - using my allergies as an excuse - and climb the hill behind school till I found a nice place to settle down with a notebook and look at Spokane spread out below.
Behind
Below
Classes
Climb
Could
Down
Excuse
Found
Get
Gym
High
High school
Hill
Look
As I remember, the first real poem I wrote was about the wheat fields between Spokane and Pullman, to the south.
About
Between
Fields
First
I remember
Poem
Real
Remember
South
Wheat
Wrote
I didn't learn much about writing at Sarah Lawrence, but I learned a lot about the sources of poems - dreams, myth, history - from the really great teachers, Joseph Campbell, Charles Trinkhaus, Bert Loewenberg, and a young Australian anthropologist named Harry Hawthorne.
About
Anthropologist
Australian
Campbell
Charles
Dreams
Great
Great teachers
Harry
History
Joseph
Lawrence
Learn
Learned
I've been enormously fortunate. People say, 'How do you feel about your reputation?' My real belief is that I have exactly the reputation I deserve... on the whole, I feel comfortable with myself.
About
Been
Belief
Comfortable
Deserve
Exactly
Feel
Fortunate
How
I feel
Myself
People
People say
Real
I tell people I never got to hear Dylan Thomas read because my husband wouldn't let me, because he thought it would be a sort of bad influence. People say, 'And you didn't go?' They're so surprised because the me they know would have gone. And I say I was very much a 'yes, dear' wife.
Bad
Because
Dear
Dylan
Dylan thomas
Go
Gone
Got
He
Hear
Husband
Influence
Know
Me
I used to get so many letters from students about the ending of 'Pro Femina.' So I had a stamp made that said 'irony, irony, irony' to put on a postcard and mail it back.
About
Back
Ending
Get
Had
Irony
Letters
Made
Mail
Many
Pro
Put
Said
Stamp
I was raised to be a girl Michelangelo.
Girl
I was raised
Michelangelo
Raised
I discovered it was easier to carry around a pen than a piano.
Around
Carry
Discovered
Easier
Pen
Piano
Than
Environmental concerns and feminism are locked together. Generally, women have closer connections to the organic nature of our lives.
Closer
Concerns
Connections
Environmental
Feminism
Generally
Lives
Locked
Nature
Organic
Our
Our lives
Together
Women
No matter how brief an encounter you have with anybody, you both change.
Anybody
Both
Brief
Change
Encounter
How
Matter
You

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