Frank Bidart

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Frank Bidart
Born (1939-05-27) May 27, 1939 (age 84)
Bakersfield, California, U.S.
OccupationPoet, professor
Alma materUniversity of California, Riverside
Harvard University
Notable worksGolden State (1973)
Desire (1997)
Star Dust (2005)
Metaphysical Dog (2013)
Notable awardsBollingen Prize in Poetry (2007) National Book Award (2017) Pulitzer Prize (2018)

Frank Bidart (born May 27, 1939) is an American academic and poet, and a winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry.


Bidart is a native of California and considered a career in acting or directing when he was young.[1] In 1957, he began to study at the University of California at Riverside, where he was introduced to writers such as T.S. Eliot and Ezra Pound and started to look at poetry as a career path. He then went on to Harvard, where he was a student and friend of Robert Lowell and Elizabeth Bishop. He began studying with Lowell and Reuben Brower in 1962.[2]

He has been an English professor at Wellesley College since 1972, and has taught at nearby Brandeis University. He lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and he is gay.[3][4] In his early work, he was noted for his dramatic monologue poems like "Ellen West," which Bidart wrote from the point of view of a woman with an eating disorder, and "Herbert White," which he wrote from the point of view of a psychopath. He has also written openly about his family in the style of confessional poetry.

He co-edited the Collected Poems of Robert Lowell which was published in 2003 after years of working on the book's voluminous footnotes with his co-editor David Gewanter.[5]

Bidart was the 2007 winner of Yale University's Bollingen Prize in American Poetry. His chapbook, Music Like Dirt, later included in the collection Star Dust, was a finalist for the 2003 Pulitzer Prize in poetry. His 2013 book Metaphysical Dog was a finalist for the National Book Award in Poetry and won the National Book Critics Circle Award.[6]

He currently maintains a strong working relationship with actor and fellow poet James Franco, with whom he collaborated during the making of Franco's short film "Herbert White" (2010), based on Bidart's poem of the same name.[7]

In 2017, Bidart received the Griffin Poetry Prize Lifetime Recognition Award and the 2017 National Book Award for Poetry for his book Half-light: Collected Poems 1965–2016.[8]

He was awarded the 2018 Pulitzer Prize for Poetry for Half-light: Collected Poems 1965–2016.

Awards and honors[edit]





  1. ^ "Frank Bidart: The Poetry Foundation". Retrieved 1 October 2014.
  2. ^ "Frank Bidart", Biography, retrieved 5 January 2007
  3. ^ Yuan, Jada (24 April 2009), "James Franco's Anti-Self", New York, retrieved 16 April 2010
  4. ^ Hennessy, Christopher (2005), "Introduction", Outside the lines: talking with contemporary gay poets, University of Michigan Press, ISBN 0-472-06873-3
  5. ^ Parini, Jay (9 August 2003). "Review: Robert Lowell: Collected Poems". the Guardian. Retrieved 16 April 2018.
  6. ^ a b "National Book Critics Circle: awards". Retrieved 16 April 2018.
  7. ^ "James Franco and poet Frank Bidart draw a crowd". Retrieved 16 April 2018.
  8. ^ "2017 National Book Awards". Retrieved 2018-04-16.
  9. ^ "Lila Wallace-Reader's Digest Writers' Awards: The Art of the Possible" (PDF). Wallace Foundation. Retrieved 16 November 2017.
  10. ^ "Book of Members, 1780–2010: Chapter B" (PDF). American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Retrieved June 25, 2011.
  11. ^ American Academy of Arts and Letters. "Awards". Retrieved November 16, 2017.
  12. ^ "Frank Bidart". The Bollingen Prize for Poetry At Yale University. Yale University. Retrieved 16 November 2017.
  13. ^ Kirsten Reach (January 14, 2014). "NBCC finalists announced". Melville House Publishing. Retrieved January 14, 2014.
  14. ^ "Announcing the National Book Critics Awards Finalists for Publishing Year 2013". National Book Critics Circle. January 14, 2014. Retrieved January 14, 2014.
  15. ^ "National Book Critics Circle Announces Award Winners for Publishing Year 2013". National Book Critics Circle. March 13, 2014. Retrieved March 13, 2014.
  16. ^ "2013 National Book Award Finalists Announced". Publishers Weekly. Retrieved January 31, 2017.
  17. ^ "2013 National Book Awards Winners and Finalists". National Book Foundation. January 14, 2014. Retrieved January 31, 2017.
  18. ^ Ron Charles (July 30, 2014). "Winners of the 2014 PEN Literary Awards". Washington Post. Retrieved August 1, 2014.
  19. ^ "2014 PEN/Voelcker Award". 16 April 2014. Retrieved August 1, 2014.
  20. ^ John Williams (July 30, 2014). "James Wolcott and Frank Bidart Among 2014 PEN American Winners". New York Times. Retrieved August 1, 2014.
  21. ^ "Bidart's first book of lyrics".
  22. ^ "2013 National Book Award". Retrieved 16 April 2018.


Further reading[edit]

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