Donald Revell

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Donald Revell (born 1954 in Bronx, New York) is an American poet, essayist, translator and professor.

Revell has won numerous honors and awards for his work, beginning with his first book, From the Abandoned Cities, which was a National Poetry Series winner. More recently, he won the 2004 Lenore Marshall Award and is a two-time winner of the PEN Center USA Award in poetry. He has also received the Gertrude Stein Award, two Shestack Prizes, two Pushcart Prizes and fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, as well as from the Ingram Merrill and Guggenheim Foundations. His most recent book is Drought-Adapted Vine (Alice James Books, 2015). He also recently published his translation of Arthur Rimbaud's A Season in Hell (Omnidawn Publishing, 2007).

Revell has taught at the Universities of Tennessee, Missouri, Iowa, Alabama, Colorado, and Utah. He currently teaches at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.[1] He lives in Las Vegas with his wife, poet Claudia Keelan, and their children. In addition to his writing, translating, and teaching, Revell was Editor of Denver Quarterly from 1988–94, and has been a poetry editor of Colorado Review since 1996.[2]

Revell received his B.A. in 1975 and his M.A. in 1977 from Binghamton University, and his Ph.D. from the University at Buffalo in 1980.

Honors and awards[edit]

Published works[edit]

Poetry Collections

  • Drought-Adapted Vine (Alice James Books, 2015)
  • Tantivy (Alice James Books, 2012)
  • The Bitter Withy (Alice James Books, 2009)[3]
  • A Thief of Strings (Alice James Books, 2007)
  • Pennyweight Windows: New And Selected Poems (Alice James Books, 2005)
  • My Mojave (Alice James Books, 2003)
  • Arcady (Wesleyan University Press, 2002)
  • There Are Three (Wesleyan University Press, 1998)
  • Real Southern BBQ - How To Roast A Pig And Five Chickens Without A Fire (Wesleyan University Press, 1996)
  • Beautiful Shirt (Wesleyan University Press, 1994)
  • Erasures' * There Are Three (Wesleyan University Press, 1992)
  • New Dark Ages * There Are Three (Wesleyan University Press, 1990)
  • The Ghaza of Winter * There Are Three (University of Georgia Press, 1988)
  • From the Abandoned Cities (Harper & Row Publishers, 1983)


Essay Collections

  • The Art of Attention: A Poet's Eye (Graywolf Press, 2007)
  • Invisible Green: Selected Prose (Omnidawn, 2005)
  • Scholium (Poetry, May 2015)(copyright pending)


In a retrospective review of Revell's work written by Stephen Burt for The Nation, he comments on Pennyweight Windows: New & Selected Poems:

Revell now seeks a poetry appropriate not only to loneliness but to anger and happiness, not only to freighted symbols but to facts, not only to doubt but to faith. What's more, he seems to have found what he seeks.[4]

In TIME Magazine, Lev Grossman wrote about Pennywight Windows:

it takes guts to write more poems about peace, war, God and children, but Revell's are so fresh, it's as if he's the first person ever to do it. He makes you feel how painfully near grace and redemption are at all times, and yet how unattainable."[5]

There is a theme here and in other reviews of Revell's recent books. Stephen Burts opens his review with a comment about how much Revell's work has changed in twenty years, noting the stylistic evolution, and the increasingly spiritual focus of Revell's work, which Grossman observes in his, and which Revell corroborates in an interview by Poets & Writers: "What's next for me? I am concerned with the governance of heaven, which is mostly silence. Living in Utah and Nevada, I take my current instruction from snow and sand. They are heavenly forms-substantial and effortless. May poems be so."[6]


External links[edit]