Liam Rector

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Liam Rector (November 21, 1949 – August 15, 2007) was an American poet, essayist and educator. He had administered literary programs at the Association of Writers and Writing Programs (AWP), the National Endowment for the Arts, the Academy of American Poets, and the Folger Shakespeare Library. He was also the director, most recently, of the graduate Writing Seminars at Bennington College.

Life and work[edit]

Liam's class was one of my favorite experiences at the New School, as I'm sure it was for many others. He was a wonderful man and a terrific poet and teacher. I remember hearing him read at a PSA reading. He read last, I was bored and tired, and he blew the doors off the place. He just exuded a poetic gravitas, and I know few poets who read with such grace and class. I'll miss him.

Steve Roberts [1]

Rector, born in Washington, D.C., was the author of volumes of poetry including The Executive Director of the Fallen World (University of Chicago, 2006), American Prodigal (Story Line, 1994), and The Sorrow of Architecture (Dragon Gate, 1984).

He co-edited with Tree Swenson On the Poetry of Frank Bidart: Fastening the Voice to the Page (University of Michigan, 2007), and edited The Day I Was Older: On the Poetry of Donald Hall (Story Line, 1989).

Rector founded and directed the graduate writing seminars at Bennington College in Vermont and taught at Columbia University, The New School, and Emerson College.

Rector committed suicide by gunshot[2] in his Greenwich Village apartment on August 15, 2007.[3]


The Liam Rector First Book Prize for Poetry is awarded annually by Briery Creek Press to honor the best emerging poets with their first full-length poetry publication.


  1. ^ Liam Rector: 1949 — 2007 A "cyber-tombeau" at Silliman's Blog by poet Ron Silliman includes comments, tributes, and links
  2. ^ IMDb - Liam Rector Biography
  3. ^ Rector, poet and teacher, kills self[permanent dead link] obituary from UPI on-line

External links[edit]