Academy of Achievement Logo
Achiever Gallery
   + [ The Arts ]
  Public Service
  Science & Exploration
  My Role Model
  Recommended Books
  Academy Careers
Keys to Success
Achievement Podcasts
About the Academy
For Teachers

Search the site

Academy Careers


If you like W.S. Merwin's story, you might also like:
Maya Angelou,
Rita Dove,
Carlos Fuentes,
Louise Glück,
N. Scott Momaday,
Joyce Carol Oates,
Carol Shields,
Wole Soyinka,
John Updike
and Gore Vidal

Related Links:
The Atlantic Monthly
Atrful Dodge
Modern American

Share This Page
  (Maximum 150 characters, 150 left)

W.S. Merwin
W.S. Merwin
Profile of W.S. Merwin Biography of W.S. Merwin Interview with W.S. Merwin W.S. Merwin Photo Gallery

W.S. Merwin Profile

Two Pulitzer Prizes for Poetry

Print W.S. Merwin Profile Print Profile

  W.S. Merwin

The dynamic evolution of W.S. Merwin's verse -- allied with his accomplishments as translator, essayist and environmentalist -- have made him the most admired and imitated of American poets. He published his first volume of verse at age 24 and soon won acclaim for an impressive mastery of classical verse technique, combined with a vivid appreciation of animal life and the natural world.

Merwin embraced the use of more colloquial language and contemporary themes in the 1960s, advocating experimentation in his influential essay, "On Open Form." When his book, The Carrier of Ladders, won the 1971 Pulitzer Prize for Poetry, Merwin took the occasion to voice his opposition to the Vietnam War. His poetry in the following decades increasingly reflected his passionate antiwar convictions.

Long celebrated as an outstanding translator of Latin, French, Spanish and Italian literature, his attention turned to the poetry of China, Japan and India. For many years, he has lived on the island of Maui in Hawaii and much of his poetry is suffused with the mythology and natural beauty of the islands. The meditative simplicity of his later work reflects his growing involvement with Buddhism and the philosophy of deep ecology. Fifty years of his poetry were collected in Migration: Selected Poems 1951-2001, a volume honored with the National Book Award. Thirty-eight years after winning his first Pulitzer, W.S. Merwin received a second Pulitzer Prize for Poetry for his 2008 volume The Shadow of Sirius. In 2010 he was named Poet Laureate of the United States.

This page last revised on Jul 01, 2010 10:38 EDT
How To Cite This Page