Arthur Sze

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Arthur Sze
Sze in 2004
Sze in 2004
Born (1950-12-01) December 1, 1950 (age 70)
New York, New York, U.S.
OccupationPoet, translator, writer, professor
LanguageEnglish, Chinese
EducationLawrenceville School
Alma materUniversity of California, Berkeley
GenrePoetry
Notable worksCompass Rose (2014)
Sight Lines (2019)
Notable awardsNational Book Award for Poetry (2019)
Years active1972–present
SpouseCarol Moldaw
Children2

Arthur Sze (English: /ˈz/; Chinese: 施家彰; pinyin: Shī Jiāzhāng; born December 1, 1950) is an American poet, translator, and professor. Since 1972, he has published ten collections of poetry. Sze's ninth collection Compass Rose (2014) was a finalist for the 2015 Pulitzer Prize for Poetry. Sze's tenth collection Sight Lines (2019) won the 2019 National Book Award for Poetry.

Sze was the first Poet Laureate of Santa Fe, New Mexico, where he resides and is a professor emeritus at the Institute of American Indian Arts.

Early life and education[edit]

Sze is a second-generation Chinese American, born in New York City on December 1, 1950.[1] His parents initially immigrated to the United States due to the Japanese occupation of China, but they stayed when the Chinese Civil War continued.[2] He was raised in Queens and Garden City on Long Island.[2][1] Sze graduated from the Lawrenceville School in 1968. Between 1968 and 1970, Sze attended the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. In 1970, he transferred to the University of California, Berkeley to pursue poetry.[1]

Career[edit]

His poems have appeared in The American Poetry Review, Boston Review, Conjunctions, The Kenyon Review, Mānoa, The Paris Review, The New Yorker, and the Virginia Quarterly Review,[3] and have been translated into Albanian, Chinese, Dutch, Italian, Romanian, and Turkish. He has authored eight books of poetry, including The Ginkgo Light[4] (Copper Canyon Press, 2009) and Compass Rose[5] (Copper Canyon Press, 2014). This latter volume was a finalist for the 2015 Pulitzer Prize for Poetry.[6]

He has been included in anthologies such as Articulations: The Body and Illness in Poetry (University of Iowa Press, 1994), Premonitions: The Kaya Anthology of New Asian North American Poetry, (Kaya Production, 1995), I Feel a Little Jumpy around You (Simon & Schuster, 1996), What Book!?: Buddhist Poems from Beats to Hiphop (Parallax Press 1998), and American Alphabets (Oberlin College Press, 2006).

He was a Visiting Hurst Professor at Washington University, a Doenges Visiting Artist at Mary Baldwin College, and has conducted residencies at Brown University, Bard College, and Naropa University. He is a professor emeritus at the Institute of American Indian Arts, is the first poet laureate of Santa Fe and has won three grants from the Witter Bynner Foundation for Poetry.[citation needed]

In 2012, Sze was elected a Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets.[7]

Reception[edit]

The poet Jackson Mac Low has said: "The word 'compassion' is much overused, 'clarity' less so, but Arthur Sze is truly a poet of clarity and compassion." Albuquerque Journal reviewer John Tritica: commented that Sze "resides somewhere in the intersection of Taoist contemplation, Zen rock gardens and postmodern experimentation." Critic R.W. French notes that Sze's poems "are complex in thought and perception; in language, however, they have the cool clarity of porcelain. The surface is calm, while the depths are resonant. There is about these poems a sense of inevitability, as though they could not possibly be other than what they are. They move precisely through their patterns like a dancer, guided by the discipline that controls and inspires."[8]

Personal life[edit]

Sze he lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico with his wife, Carol Moldaw, and their daughter.[9] Sze also has a son from a previous marriage.[2]

Awards[edit]

Bibliography[edit]

Poetry[edit]

Collections
  • The Willow Wind. Berkeley, California: Rainbow Zenith Press. 1972.
    • The Willow Wind: Poems and Translations from the Chinese (Revised ed.). Santa Fe, New Mexico: Tooth of Time Books. 1981.
  • Two Ravens. Guadalupita, New Mexico: Tooth of Time Publications. 1976.
    • Two Ravens: Poems and Translations from the Chinese (Revised ed.). Santa Fe, New Mexico: Tooth of Time Books. 1984. ISBN 978-0-940510-09-8.
  • Dazzled. Point Reyes Station, California: Floating Island Publications. 1982. ISBN 978-0-912449-07-4.
  • River River. Providence, Rhode Island: Lost Roads Publishers. 1987. ISBN 978-0-918786-35-7.
  • Archipelago. Port Townsend, Washington: Copper Canyon Press. 1995. ISBN 9781556591006.
  • The Redshifting Web: Poems 1970–1998. Port Townsend, Washington: Copper Canyon Press. 1998. ISBN 9781556590887.
  • Quipu. Port Townsend, Washington: Copper Canyon Press. 2005. ISBN 9781556592263.
  • The Ginkgo Light. Port Townsend, Washington: Copper Canyon Press. 2009. ISBN 9781556592997.
  • Compass Rose. Port Townsend, Washington: Copper Canyon Press. 2014. ISBN 9781556594670.
  • Sight Lines. Port Townsend, Washington: Copper Canyon Press. 2019. ISBN 978-1-55659-559-2.
  • Starlight Behind Daylight. Afton, Virginia: St Brigid Press. 2020.[14]
Translations
  • The Silk Dragon: Translations of Chinese Poetry. Port Townsend, Washington: Copper Canyon Press. 2001. ISBN 978-1-55659-153-2.
In anthology

As editor[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Guiyou Huang (2002). Asian-American Poets: A Bio-bibliographical Critical Sourcebook. Greenwood Publishing Group. p. 293. ISBN 978-0-313-31809-2.
  2. ^ a b c Levin, Jennifer (January 10, 2020). "Perspectives converge: National Book Award winner Arthur Sze". The Santa Fe New Mexican. Retrieved July 25, 2020.
  3. ^ Virginia Quarterly Review Archived 2008-12-01 at the Wayback Machine, vqronline.org; accessed 16 June 2015.
  4. ^ "Copper Canyon Press: The Ginkgo Light by Arthur Sze". www.coppercanyonpress.org. Retrieved 29 May 2017.
  5. ^ "Copper Canyon Press: Compass Rose, Poetry by Arthur Sze". www.coppercanyonpress.org. Retrieved 29 May 2017.
  6. ^ "2015 Pulitzer Prizes". www.pulitzer.org. Retrieved 29 May 2017.
  7. ^ Sze, Arthur (4 February 2014). "Arthur Sze". Arthur Sze. Retrieved 29 May 2017.
  8. ^ R.W. French. "Arthur Sze: "The Redshifting Web: Poems 1970-1998"". Archived from the original on April 18, 2010. Retrieved June 16, 2015.
  9. ^ Guiyou Huang (2002). Asian-American Poets: A Bio-bibliographical Critical Sourcebook. Greenwood Publishing Group. p. 293. ISBN 978-0-313-31809-2.
  10. ^ "Guggenheim Fellowship". gf.org. Retrieved 29 May 2017.
  11. ^ "Lannan profile". Archived from the original on 2009-04-14. Retrieved 2009-05-18.
  12. ^ "Updated: Santa Fe's Arthur Sze Wins Major Poetry Prize". www.abqjournal.com. Associated Press. Retrieved 29 May 2017.
  13. ^ "Sight Lines". National Book Foundation. Retrieved 2019-11-25.
  14. ^ "Starlight Behind Daylight ~ by Arthur Sze". St Brigid Press. Retrieved November 18, 2020.

External links[edit]