Naomi Lazard

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Naomi Lazard (born 1936) is a noted American poet, the winner of two Fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, and a past-President of the Poetry Society of America. Her translations of Faiz Ahmed Faiz has also been widely acclaimed.[1] She is also a children's book author and a playwright.


She has published three volumes of poetry: Cry of the Peacocks (Harcourt, Brace & World; 1967); The Moonlit Upper Deckerina (Sheepmeadow Press, 1977); Ordinances (Ardis, 1984). The poems in Ordinances are notable for their "dark orwellian tone" - describing lifelived under a monstrous, faceless bureaucracy.[2]

She also brought out The True Subject: Selected Poems of Faiz Ahmed Faiz, a volume of translations from the work of Pakistanian poet Faiz Ahmed Faiz. She has also translated the works of Romanian poet Nina Cassian.

She is also the author of the children’s book, What Amanda Saw (illustrated by Paul O. Zelinsky). She also wrote the screenplay, The White Raven[disambiguation needed], and the play, The Elephant and the Dove.

In 1992, Lazard co-founded The Hamptons International Film Festival.

Despite her prominence as a poet, Lazard is mainly a poet's poet, not very well known in broader circles.[3] Her poems have been anthologized in Joy Katz and Kevin Prufer's Dark Horses: Poets on Overlooked Poems (2007), and in Czeslaw Milosz's anthology, The Book of Luminous Things (1996). Her poem, To Answer Your Query, has been read by Garrison Keillor on National Public Radio.[4]