David Yezzi

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David Yezzi

David Dalton Yezzi (born 1966) is an American poet, editor, and professor. He currently teaches poetry in the Writing Seminars at The Johns Hopkins University.

Director of the Unterberg Poetry Center of the 92nd Street Y in New York City from 2001 to 2005, Yezzi has worked as executive editor of The New Criterion, associate editor of Parnassus: Poetry in Review, and on the staff of The New York Observer.[1]

Life and career[edit]

Yezzi was born in Albany, New York,[2] and earned a bachelor's degree in theater from Carnegie Mellon University and a master of fine arts degree in creative writing from Columbia University School of the Arts.[1]

In 1992, Herbert Leibowitz gave Yezzi his first editing job at Parnassus: Poetry in Review. Since then, he has held editing positions at The New York Observer and The New Criterion, returning to Parnassus as associate editor in 2000, and to The New Criterion as poetry editor in 2004.[1] Previously, Yezzi directed the 92nd Street Y's Unterberg Poetry Center.[1][2] In 2006, Yezzi was producer for the stage adaptation of Glyn Maxwell's book of poetry, The Sugar Mile. Prior to becoming director of the poetry center in 2001, Mr. Yezzi was chief administrator of The New York Institute for the Humanities at New York University.[1]

Yezzi continues to serve as poetry editor of The New Criterion.


Yezzi was a co-founder of the San Francisco theater company, Thick Description, and has performed in works by Shakespeare, Shaw, Brecht, Goethe, Williams, and others in the United States and Europe.[1] In 2000, he performed with the company in Bertolt Brecht's The Visions of Simone Machard.

In March 2010, Verse Theater Manhattan presented Yezzi's evening of verse monologues, Dirty Dan & Other Travesties, at the Bowery Poetry Club, with music by Chris Lee, and performances by Yezzi, Lee, Bruce Faulk, Tony Torn, Sayra Player, and Max Woertendyke.

Awards and recognition[edit]

While in college, he won The Academy of American Poets College Prize and the Thomas Auclair Award for acting from Carnegie Mellon. In graduate school, he received the David Craig Austin Memorial Award from Columbia University (judged by Jorie Graham).[1]

In 1998, he was awarded a Wallace Stegner Fellowship from Stanford University (1998–2000).[1]

His poems have been published in literary journals including The Atlantic, Poetry, The Yale Review, The Paris Review, The New Republic, Poetry Daily and The New Criterion. His literary essays and reviews have appeared in The New York Times Book Review, The New York Sun, The New Yorker, The Wall Street Journal, The (London) Times Literary Supplement, Poetry and elsewhere.[1]

Yezzi's poem "The Call" appeared in The Best American Poetry 2006. The poem had originally appeared in New England Review His poem "Minding Rites" was included in The Best American Poetry 2012.

In December 2008, Azores was chosen as a Slate magazine "Best Book of 2008."




  • Two Ranges [Vertical] by Ernest Hilbert and David Yezzi (Nemean Lion Press, 2013), hand-sewn, signed-limited concertina book
  • Tomorrow & Tomorrow with an afterword by Denis Donoghue (Exot Books, 2012), ISBN 978-0-9844249-7-9
  • Such Root Satisfaction, 3 X 5 [Three by David Yezzi, Five by Ernest Hilbert] (Nemean Lion Press, 2010)
  • A Fletching of Hackles, Fresh Verse by Ernest Hilbert and David Yezzi (Nemean Lion Press, 2009)
  • Sad Is Eros (Aralia Press, 2003)


  • The Swallow Anthology of New American Poets (Swallow Press/Ohio University, 2009), 360 pages, ISBN 0-8040-1121-4 ISBN 978-0-8040-1121-1, 2009 in poetry
  • His libretto for a new chamber opera by composer David Conte, Firebird Motel, premiered in 2003. It was recently released on CD by Arsis.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j [3] Google Cache of biographical sketch page of David Yezzi at 92nd Street Y Web site, accessed February 1, 2007
  2. ^ a b [4] An Interview with David Yezzi by Ernest Hilbert, The Cortlandt Review, Issue 32, June 2006, accessed February 1, 2007

External links[edit]

  • [1] Biographical sketch of Yezzi at the 92nd Street Y Web site, also available on a Google cache at [2]

Articles by Yezzi online[edit]

Poems online[edit]

Reviews of Yezzi's work[edit]