Alfred Corn was born in Bainbridge, Georgia, in 1943. He grew up in Valdosta, Georgia, and received his B.A. in French literature from Emory University in 1965. He was awarded an M.A. in French literature from Columbia University in 1967, and completed all requirements for the Ph.D. except the doctoral dissertation. His degree work included a year spent in Paris on a Fulbright Fellowship and two years of teaching in the French Department at Columbia College. His first book of poems, All Roads at Once, appeared in 1976, followed by A Call in the Midst of the Crowd (1978), The Various Light (1980), Notes from a Child of Paradise (1984), The West Door (1988), Autobiographies (1992). His seventh book of poems, titled Present, appeared in 1997, along with a novel titled Part of His Story, and a study of prosody, The Poem’s Heartbeat. Stake: Selected Poems, 1972-1992, appeared in 1999, followed by Contradictions in 2002. His most recent volumes of poetry are Tables (2014) and Unions (2015) He has published two collections of critical essays, The Metamorphoses of Metaphor (1988) and Atlas: Selected Essays, 1989-2007 (2008). Also, a work of art criticism, Aaron Rose Photographs (Abrams, 2001). Prizes for his work include the Levinson Prize from Poetry magazine, a Guggenheim Fellowship, the NEA grant, an Award in Literature from the Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters, and one from the Academy of American Poets. He has taught at the City University of New York, Yale, Connecticut College, the University of Cincinnati, U.C.L.A., Ohio State University, Hofstra University, Oklahoma State University, and the University of Tulsa. A frequent contributor to The New York Times Sunday Book Review and The Nation, he has also written art criticism for Art in America and ARTnews magazines. He held the Amy Clampitt Residency in Lenox, Massachusetts, for 2004-2005 and taught at the Poetry School in London for 2005-2006. His first play, Lowell’s Bedlam, premiered at Pentameters Theatre in London in 2011. In 2012, he was a Visiting Fellow at Clare Hall, Cambridge University, and was made a Life Fellow the following year. His second novel, Miranda’s Book, was published in the U.K. in 2015. In the same year, he was invited to speak at the opening of the new museum dedicated to the life and work of the Chinese painter and writer Mu Xin in Wuzhen, Zhejiang province, China. In 2016 a selection of his poems was translated into Spanish and published in Spain under the title Rocinante. A similar collection was published in Mexico in 2017 under the title Antonio en el desierto. He lives in Hopkinton, Rhode Island.
HONORS AND FELLOWSHIPS
Premio Andersen, 2014, offered by the Comune di Sestri Levante, Italy.
Visiting Fellow, Clare Hall, Cambridge, UK, January to June, 2012. Made Life Fellow in 2012.
Ledig House, 2009
Amy Clampitt Residency, Lenox, Massachusetts, August 2004-July 2005
Rockefeller Foundation resident, Bellagio, Italy, September-October, 2003
Yaddo Corporation resident, June 2001
Château de Lavigny International Writers’ Colony, Lausanne, Switzerland, August 2000
Chairperson, PEN Awards Committee, 1997-1998.
Yaddo Corporation resident July 1998.
MacDowell Colony resident, August 1996.
New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship, 1995.
One of 70 poets chosen for the Leonard L. Milberg Collection of American Poetry, Princeton University Library, 1994.
MacDowell Colony resident, August 1994.
Rockefeller Foundation resident, Bellagio, Italy, July 1992.
NEA Fellowship for poetry, 1991.
Djerassi Foundation resident, April 1990.
Blaffer Foundation, Poet-in-Residence, New Harmony, Indiana, August 1989.
Yaddo Corporation resident, July 1989.
Pergamon Press, Inc. Fellowship in Literature at the Djerassi Foundation, March 1988.
Fellow of the Academy of American Poets Prize, 1987.
Guggenheim Fellowship, 1986‑1987.
New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship, 1986.
Award in Literature from The Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters, 1983.
Poetry Society of America, Gustaf Davidson Prize, 1983.
Levinson Prize from Poetry magazine, 1982.
Ingram Merrill Fellowship, 1981.
NEA Fellowship for poetry, 1980.
One of 75 poets invited to a “Celebration of American Poetry” by President and Mrs. Carter at The White House, 1980.
Blumenthal Prize from Poetry, 1979.
New York Y.M.H.A./Nation “Introduction” Prize, 1977.
George Dillon Prize from Poetry, 1975.
Ingram Merrill Fellowship, 1974.
Fulbright Fellowship to Paris 1967-1968
Individual poems published in periodicals and journals such as The New Yorker, The New York Review of Books, The Nation, The New Republic, Poetry Review (U.K.), Grand Street, Antaeus, The Georgia Review, Poetry, The Long Poem (U.K.), Commonweal, Magma (U.K.), Raritan, Sagarana (Italy), The Hudson Review, The Paris Review, La Jornada (Mexico), American Poetry Review, Slate, The Yale Review, Laberinto (Mexico), Poetry Review (U.K.), Partisan Review, Cronorama (Italy), The Boston Review, Shenandoah, PN Review (U.K.), Salmagundi, Poetry London, Cutthroat, The New England Review, Europe (France), Atlanta Review, The Cortland Review, Poetry Ireland, The Kenyon Review, and Equis (Mexico).
Poems are anthologized in Still Life with Poem:Contemporary Natures Mortes in Verse, Jehanne Dubrow and Lindsay Lusby, Editors, 2016; The Best of Cutthroat, William Pitt Root and Pam Uschuk, Editors, 2016; Lay Bare the Canvas: New England Poets on Art , Beatrice Lazarus, Editor, 2014; The Incredible Sestina Anthology, Daniel Nester, Editor, 2013; The Wolf: A Decade (Poems 2002-2012), James Byrne, Editor; Poetry from Paradise Valley, Edward Byrne, Editor, 2010; Alhambra Poetry Calendar 2010, Shafiq Naz, Editor; I Speak of the City: Poems of New York, Stephen Wolf, Editor, 2009; Essential Pleasures: Poems To Be Read Aloud, 2009, Robert Pinsky, Editor; Bearing the Mystery: Twenty Years of Image, 2009, Gregory Wolfe, Editor; The Dance, 2006, Emily Fragos, Editor; American Religious Poems, An Anthology, Harold Bloom and Jesse Zuba, Editors, 2006; The Norton Anthology of Poetry, Fifth Edition, 2005, Margaret Ferguson, Mary Jo Salter, and Jon Stallworthy, Editors; In a Fine Frenzy: Poets Respond to Shakespeare, 2005, David Starkey and Paul J. Willis, Editors; Poets Against the War, 2003, Sam Hamill, Editor; Strongly Spent: 50 Years of Poetry (Shenandoah), 2003, R.T. Smith, Editor; Salt: The Jacket Issue, 2003, John Tranter, Editor; Agni, Thirtieth Anniversary Poetry Anthology, 2003, Askold Melnyczuk, Editor; Georgia Voices, 2000, Hugh Ruppersburg, Editor; The Making of a Poem, 2000, Mark Strand and Eavan Boland, Editors; Word of Mouth, 2000, Timothy Liu, Editor; The World In Us, 2000, Elena Georgiou and Michael Lassell, Editors; The Best Spiritual Writing 2000, Philip Zaleski, Editor; The New Bread Loaf Anthology of Contemporary Poetry, 1999, Michael Collier and Stanley Plumly, Editors; The Handbook of Heartbreak, 1998, Robert Pinsky, Editor; The Best American Poetry, 1998, John Hollander and David Lehman, Editors; The Norton Anthology of Poetry, Fourth Edition, 1996, Margaret Ferguson, Mary Jo Salter, and Jon Stallworthy, Editors; and The Norton Anthology of Poetry, Shorter Fourth Edition, 1996; Things Shaped in Passing, 1996, Michael Klein and Richard McCann, Editors; Sixty Years of American Poetry: Celebrating the Anniversary of the Academy of American Poets, 1996, Bruno Navasky, Editor; The Best Verse: Ten Years of Poetry, 1995, Nancy Schoenberger and Brian Henry, Editors; The Best American Poetry, 1991, Mark Strand and David Lehman, Editors; New York Poems, 1991, Ferdinand Schunck, Editor (Germany); The Vintage Book of Contemporary American Poetry, 1990, J.D. McClatchy, Editor; The Paris Review Anthology, George Plimpton, Editor, 1990; Words on the Page, Catherine Lipkin and Virginia Solotaroff, Editors, 1990; The Best American Poetry,1988, John Ashbery, Editor; Ecstatic Occasions, Expedient Forms, 1987, David Lehman, Editor; An Introduction to Poetry, 1987, Jay Parini, Editor; Strong Measures, Philip Dacey and David Jauss, Editors, 1986; The Norton Anthology of American Literature, Second Edition, 1985, David Kalstone, Editor; Shenandoah, An Anthology, 1985, James Boatwright, Editor; The Morrow Anthology of Younger Poets, 1985, Dave Smith and David Bottoms, Editors; The Bread Loaf Anthology, 1985, Pack, Lea, and Parini, Editors; Contemporary Poetry in Forms, 1985, Philip Dacey, Editor; Disenchantments, 1984, Wolfgang Mieder, Editor; The Heath Reader, 1984; New York Poems, 1980, Howard Moss, Editor; The Poetry Anthology, 1978, Daryl Hine, Editor.
An audio recording was anthologized in Lifelines 2 (U.K., 2007), edited by Todd Swift to benefit Oxfam.
Miranda’s Book (novel), Eyewear Editions, U.K., 2014
Part of His Story (novel), Mid-List Press, 1997.
“Kick,” Cutthroat, Winter 2014
“He’s Funny That Way,” Blithe House Quarterly, Spring 2005
Excerpts from Part of His Story published in The Evergreen Chronicle, March 1997; and Kenyon Review Summer 1991.
“Country Hosts,” Ontario Review, Fall‑Winter, 1988.
Lowell’s Bedlam, play in two acts produced at Pentameters Theatre, London, 2011. Text published in The Notre Dame Review in 2012.
Arks and Covenants, Redux Consortium, 2017
Atlas: Selected Essays, 1989-2007, University of Michigan Press, 2008.
The Poem’s Heartbeat: A Manual of Prosody, Story Line Press, 1997.
The Pith Helmet, Cummington Press, 1992. (A selection of aphorisms from this book was translated into Italian and published at http://aforisticamente.com /2012/12/18/laforisma-negli-stati-uniti-alfred-corn/)
Incarnation: Contemporary Writers on the New Testament, edited by Alfred Corn, Viking
The Metamorphoses of Metaphor, Viking, 1987.
“ Existentialism and Homosexuality in Gunn’s Early Poetry,” in At the Barriers:
On the Poetry of Thom Gunn, edited by Joshua Weiner, University of Chicago Press, 2009.
“The Wordsworth Retrospective,” The Hudson Review, Fall 1999.
“For The Time Being: A Relocation of the Poet,” in Auden Studies, Oxford, 1995.
“Contemporary Poetry’s Mother Tongues,” in The Great Ideas Today, Britannica, 1995.
Essays, articles and reviews have appeared in The New York Times Book Review, The Nation, The Washington Post Book World, Poetry, The Threepenny Review, The Hudson Review, The Village Voice, Poetry London (U.K.), Kenyon Review, The New Republic, Poetry Review (U.K.), The Boston Review, The Yale Review, The Wolf (U.K.), and The Boston Globe.
Transatlantic Bridge: A Concise Guide to American and British English, Thethe Books, 2012.
“The Perpetuity of Light,” introduction to Aaron Rose Photographs, Abrams, 2001. “Optic Explorer,” Catalogue introduction for John Laub, 1998.
“Visual Discovery,” Catalogue introduction for Park Young-Ha, 1994.
“Rousseau’s Camera Oscura,” Catalogue introduction for Anne-Marie Rousseau, 1993.
Articles and reviews in Art in America, ARTnews, The Hudson Review, Art and Antiques, Art & Auction, The New York Review of Art.
“French Baroque Music,” Antaeus, Fall 1993.
“Figaro’s Travels,” Stagebill, February 1992.
“A Cretan Abdication: Mozart’s Idomeneo,” Opera LA, Summer 1990.
“Gounod’s Faust,” (Introduction to libretto of Faust), The Metropolitan Opera Guild, 1989.
“The Old Neighborhood,” December 1997, Worldstyle Magazine.
“Ivanov,” January 1998, Worldstyle Magazine.
“The Cape Man,” February 1998, Worldstyle Magazine.
“Hudson, New York,” Travel & Leisure, August 2006.
“Asheville and Black Mountain,” Travel & Leisure, October 2004.
“In Great Village,” Grand Street, Summer 1989
Aristophanes, Frogs, University of Pennsylvania Press, 1999.
Dante, Inferno, Cantos XXIX and XXX, Ecco Press, 1993.
Proust, “L’Indifférent,” Sea Cliff Press, 1991.
Libretto of Gounod’s Faust, The Metropolitan Opera Guild, 1989.
Poems of Sappho, Rilke, Montale, and Neruda in The West Door, 1988.
Corneille, Le Cid, Act I, The Hudson Review, Fall 1982.
Translations are anthologized in Saudade: An Anthology of Fado Poetry, Mimi Khalvati, Editor (2010); New European Poets, Wayne Miller and Kevin Prufer, Editors (2008); The Yale Anthology of French Poetry (2005), Mary Ann Caws, Editor; World Poetry (1998), Katharine Washburn and John S. Major, Editors; The Columbia Anthology of Gay Literature (1998), Byrne R.S. Fone, Editor; and Poems from Italy (1985), Dana Gioia and William Jay Smith, Editors.
Contributing Editor, Cimarron Review and The Gay and Lesbian Review
Poet, novelist, critic