Ned Balbo

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Ned Balbo
Ned Balbo attending the West Chester University Poetry Conference
Born (1959-11-19) November 19, 1959 (age 58)
Occupation poet, essayist, and professor
Nationality American
Alma mater

Brentwood High School '77
Vassar College '81, A.B.
Johns Hopkins University '86, M.A.

University of Iowa '89, M.F.A.
Genre poetry, essay
Notable awards

Richard Wilbur Award, 2018

National Endowment for the Arts Literature in Translation Fellowship, 2017

Willis Barnstone Translation Prize co-winner, 2013

Poets' Prize, 2012

Donald Justice Poetry Prize, 2010

ForeWord magazine Book of the Year Gold Medal, 2005

Ernest Sandeen Prize in Poetry, 2005

Robert Frost Foundation Poetry Award, 2003

John Guyon Prize in Literary Nonfiction, 2002

Towson University Prize for Literature[1] co-winner, 1998
Spouse Jane Satterfield

Ned Balbo (born November 19, 1959, Mineola, New York)[2] is an American poet, translator, and essayist.


Ned Balbo grew up on Long Island, New York.[3] He was raised by Betty and Carmine Balbo, his birth mother's half-sister and her husband, who he believed were his parents.[4] At thirteen Balbo learned he was adopted.[5] This background informs his creative work.[6]

Balbo graduated from Brentwood High School in 1977.[7] He earned his Bachelor of Arts at Vassar College in 1981, his Master of Arts at Johns Hopkins University in 1986, and his Master of Fine Arts at the Iowa Writers' Workshop in 1989.[3][8]

Balbo taught poetry and prose at Loyola University Maryland from 1990 to 2014.[9] He was also a visiting faculty member in the MFA program in Creative Writing and Environment at Iowa State University.[10] He is married to poet-essayist Jane Satterfield.[3]

Poetry and style[edit]

According to Lisa Vihos in Verse Wisconsin, " shape and heft to the formless, fleeting past--both historical and personal--through his rich language."[11] In reviewing The Trials of Edgar Poe and Other Poems for JMWW, Patricia Valdata observes that Balbo's work "raises difficult questions about home, about the relationship of parent to child, about a society's responsibility to its poor."[12] Writing in Studio, Lucas Jacob notes that in The Trials of Edgar Poe and Other Poems, "Balbo...reminds us of the grace we find in our time with each other on this 'island' of life on Earth."[13] Lesley Wheeler, writing on-line in Kenyon Review, asserts that "Balbo’s complicated sense of place and his poetic resourcefulness make [Upcycling Paumanok] worth your time, but what impresses me most are the extended narrative lyrics, the first of which appears several pages in. Balbo’s deftness at balancing story and music is often breathtaking."[14]

Balbo has written in a variety of forms, including blank verse, sonnets, villanelles, sestinas, and nonce forms, as well as free verse.[3] His poetic influences include Ai, Elizabeth Bishop, Louise Bogan, Robert Frost, Randall Jarrell, Denis Johnson, Weldon Kees, and others.[15]


In addition to book awards, Balbo received a 2017 National Endowment for the Arts Literature in Translation Fellowship.[16] He is the recipient of three Maryland Arts Council Individual Artist Awards in poetry and the Robert Frost Foundation Poetry Award.[3]

He received the John Guyon Literary Nonfiction Prize for the essay "Walt Whitman's Finches: on discretion and disclosure in autobiography and adoption," published in the literary journal Crab Orchard Review in 2002.[17] "My Father's Music," an essay on adoption, ethnicity, and popular culture, and a finalist for the Pirate's Alley William Faulkner Society's Gold Medal in the Essay,[18] appears in Our Roots Are Deep with Passion: Creative Nonfiction Collects New Essays by Italian American Writers (Other Press, 2006).[19] An Italian version of this essay (Carla Antonucci, translator) appeared as “La Musica di mio padre” in Padri: Tre memoir italo americani, edited by Anna Maria Crispino (Iacobelli: Rome, 2009).[20]

Balbo has also been a Walter E. Dakin fellow at the Sewanee Writers' Conference and several times a fellow in poetry at the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts .[21]




  • 2009 — Something Must Happen (Finishing Line Press)[3]


  • 2006 — “My Father’s Music.” Our Roots Are Deep with Passion: Creative Nonfiction collects new essays by Italian-American writers. Eds. Lee Gutkind and Joanna Clapps Herman. New York: Other Press, 2006: 87-103.[27]
  • 2003 — “Paul Is Dead, and We’re All Listening: Rumor and Revelation, 1969.” Spec. nonfiction issue of JMWW (2011).[28] [Originally appeared in Die Cast Garden 2 (2003).]
  • 2002 — “Walt Whitman’s Finches: of discretion and disclosure in autobiography and adoption.” Crab Orchard Review 8.1 (2002): 180-95.[17]


  1. ^ "Montgomery College to Host Four Readings by Award-Winning Authors: “Books and Ideas” Series Features Pietrzyk, Morris and Poets Satterfield, Balbo." Montgomery College. August 19, 2005
  2. ^ "MARC Display." Library of Congress Authorities. The Library of Congress.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i Lori A. May "An interview with Ned Balbo." Poets' Quarterly Issue 3. April 2010.
  4. ^ [1]
  5. ^ [2]
  6. ^ [3]
  7. ^ Ned Balbo's Facebook
  8. ^ Graduate Programs. Loyola College in Maryland
  9. ^ [4]
  10. ^ [5]
  11. ^ [6]
  12. ^ [7]
  13. ^
  14. ^
  15. ^
  16. ^
  17. ^ a b [8]
  18. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2010-01-07. Retrieved 2009-12-01.
  19. ^ [9]
  20. ^
  21. ^ "Ned Balbo's Biography." Ned Balbo: Poet and Essayist. Red Room. Accessed: Sept. 26, 2010
  22. ^
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  24. ^
  25. ^
  26. ^
  27. ^ [10]
  28. ^

External links[edit]