Hayden Carruth (1921-2008). Courtesy PoemHunter.

Hayden Carruth (August 3, 1921 - September 29, 2008) was an American poet, academic, and literary critic.


Hayden Carruth grew up in Woodbury, Connecticut.[1] He was educated at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and at the University of Chicago. He lived in Johnson, Vermont for many years.

Carruth taught at Syracuse University, in the Graduate Creative Writing Program, where he taught and mentored many younger poets, including Brooks Haxton and Allen Hoey. He resided with his wife, poet Joe-Anne McLaughlin Carruth, near the small central New York village of Munnsville, and taught at Syracuse University.

He wrote for over 60 years. Carruth died from complications following a series of strokes.[2] (Citation needed)


Carruth authored more than 30 books of poetry, four books of literary criticism, essays, a novel and two poetry anthologies. He served as editor of Poetry magazine, as poetry editor of Harper's, and as advisory editor of The Hudson Review for 20 years.

His later titles include the 2001 collection of poems Doctor Jazz and a 70-minute audio CD of him reading selections from Scrambled Eggs and Whiskey and Collected Shorter Poems.

Noted for the breadth of his linguistic and formal resources, influenced by jazz and the blues, Carruth's poems are informed by his political radicalism and sense of cultural responsibility. (Citation needed)

Many of Carruth's best-known poems are about the people and places of northern Vermont, as well as rural poverty and hardship, addressing loneliness, insanity, and death.[2] One of his most celebrated poems is "Emergency Haying". (Citation needed)

Recognition Edit

Carruth was awarded a Bollingen Prize and Guggenheim and NEA fellowships. (Citation needed)

In 1992 he was awarded the National Book Critics Circle Award for his Collected Shorter Poems, and in 1997 the National Book Award in poetry for his 1996 book Scrambled Eggs and Whiskey. Shortly after the debut of Scrambled Eggs and Whiskey, he also won the $50,000 Lannan Literary Award.

Other awards with which he was honored included the Carl Sandburg Award, the Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize, the Paterson Poetry Prize, the 1990 Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize, the Vermont Governor's Medal and the Whiting Award. (Citation needed)

Publications Edit


  • The Crow and the Heart, 1946-1959. New York: Macmillan, 1959.
  • In Memoriam: G.V.C. privately printed, 1960.
  • Journey to a Known Place (long poem). New York: New Directions, 1961.
  • The Norfolk Poems: 1 June to 1 September, 1961. Iowa City, IA: Prairie Press, 1962.
  • North Winter. Iowa City, IA: Prairie Press, 1964.
  • Nothing for Tigers: Poems, 1959-1964. New York: Macmillan, 1965.
  • Contra Mortem (long poem). Johnson, VT: Crow's Mark Press, 1967.
  • For You: Poems. New York: New Directions, 1970.
  • The Clay Hill Anthology. Iowa City, IA: Prairie Press, 1970.
  • From Snow and Rock, from Chaos: Poems, 1965-1972. New York: New Directions, 1973.
  • Dark World. Santa Cruz, CA: Kayak, 1974.
  • The Bloomingdale Papers. Athens, GA: University of Georgia Press, 1975.
  • Loneliness: An Outburst of Hexasyllables. Rouge River, OR: Janus Press, 1976.
  • Aura. Rouge River, OR: Janus Press, 1977.
  • Brothers, I Loved You All. New York: Sheep Meadow, 1978.
  • Almanach du Printemps Vivarois. Nadja, 1979.
  • The Mythology of Dark and Light (long poem). Madison, WI: Tamarack, 1982.
  • The Sleeping Beauty. New York: Harper, 1983
  • If You Call This Cry a Song. Woodstock, VT: Countryman Press, 1983.
  • Asphalt Georgics. New York: New Directions, 1985.
  • Lighter than Air Craft (edited by John Wheatcroft). Press Alley, 1985.
  • The Oldest Killed Lake in North America. Salt-Works Press, 1985.
  • Mother (long poem). Madison, WI: Tamarack Press, 1985.
  • The Selected Poetry of Hayden Carruth. New York: Macmillan, 1986.
  • Sonnets. Press Alley, 1989.
  • Tell Me Again How the White Heron Rises and Flies across the Nacreous River at Twilight toward the Distant Islands. New York: New Directions, 1989.
  • Collected Shorter Poems, 1946-1991. Port Townsend, WA: Copper Canyon Press, 1992.
  • Collected Longer Poems. Port Townsend, WA: Copper Canyon Press, 1993.
  • Scrambled Eggs and Whiskey: Poems, 1991-1995. Port Townsend, WA: Copper Canyon Press, 1996.
  • Doctor Jazz: Poems, 1996-2000. Port Townsend, WA: Copper Canyon Press, 2001.
  • Her Song. Port Townsend, WA: Copper Canyon Press, 2001.[3]
  • Toward the Distant Islands: New and selected poems. (edited by Sam Hamill). Port Townsend, WA: Copper Canyon Press, 2006.[3]
  • Last Poems. Port Townsend, WA: Copper Canyon Press, 2012.[3]


  • Appendix A (novel). New York: Macmillan, 1963.
  • After "The Stranger": Imaginary dialogues with Camus. New York: Macmillan, 1964.


  • The Art of Literary Publishing (contributor). Wainscott, NY: Pushcart Press, 1980.
  • Working Papers: Selected essays and reviews (edited by Judith Weissman). Athens, GA: University of Georgia Press, 1981.
  • Effluences from the Sacred Caves: More selected essays and reviews. Ann Arbor, MI: University of Michigan Press, 1984.
  • Sitting In: Selected writings on jazz, blues, and related topics (includes poetry). Iowa City, IA: University of Iowa Press, 1986
    • expanded edition, 1993.
  • Suicides and Jazzers. Ann Arbor, MI: University of Michigan Press, 1992.
  • Selected Essays and Reviews. Port Townsend, WA: Copper Canyon Press, 1995.
  • Reluctantly: Autobiographical essays. Port Townsend, WA: Copper Canyon Press, 1998.
  • Beside the Shadblow Tree: A memoir of James Laughlin. Port Townsend, WA: Copper Canyon Press, 1999.
  • Faxes to William. Boise, ID: Limberlost, 2000.[3]
  • Letters to Jane. Keene, NY: Ausable Press, 2004.[3]


  • A New Directions Reader (edited with James Laughlin). New York: New Directions, 1964.
  • The Voice That Is Great within Us: American poetry of the twentieth century. New York: Bantam, 1970.
  • The Bird/Poem Book: Poems on the wild birds of North America. McCall, 1970.
  • James Laughlin, The Collected Poems of James Laughlin. Wakefield, RI: Moyer Bell, 1994.
  • James Laughlin, A Commonplace Book of Pentastichs (editor and author of introduction). New York: New Directions, 1998.

Except where noted, bibliographical information courtesy the Poetry Foundation.[4]

Audio / videoEdit

  • Listener's Guide: Reading from 'Collected Shorter Poems' and 'Scrambled Eggs and Whiskey' (sound recording). Port Townsend, WA: Copper Canyon Press, 1999.[4]

See alsoEdit


External linksEdit


Audio / video
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