Mark Strand in 2012. Photo by Slowking. Licensed under Creative Commons, courtesy Wikimedia Commons.

Mark Strand (born April 11, 1934) is a Pulitzer Prize-winning American poet, essayist, academic, and translator. He was appointed Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress in 1990.[1]

Life Edit

Strand was born in Summerside, Prince Edward Island, Canada. Much of his adolescence was spent in South and Central America. In 1957, he earned a B.A. from Antioch College in Ohio. Strand then studied painting under Josef Albers at Yale University where he earned a B.F.A in 1959. On a Fulbright Scholarship, Strand studied nineteenth-century Italian poetry in Italy during 1960-1961.

He attended the Iowa Writers' Workshop at the University of Iowa the following year and earned a Master of Arts in 1962. In 1965 he spent a year in Brazil as a Fulbright Lecturer.[2] His academic career has taken him to numerous colleges and universities to teach. A partial list:

Teaching positionsEdit

Visiting professor at

In 1997, he left Johns Hopkins University to accept the Andrew MacLeish Distinguished Service Professorship of Social Thought at the Committee on Social Thought at the University of Chicago. Since 2006, Strand has been teaching literature and creative writing at Columbia University, in New York City.

In 1981, Strand was elected a member of The American Academy of Arts and Letters. He served as Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress during the 1990-1991 term. Strand has received numerous awards including a MacArthur Fellowship in 1987 and the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry in 1999 for Blizzard of One.


Many of Strand's poems are nostalgiac in tone, evoking the bays, fields, boats, and pines of his childhood on Prince Edward Island. Strand has been compared to Robert Bly in his use of surrealism, though he attributes the surreal elements in his poems to an admiration of the works of Max Ernst, Giorgio de Chirico, and Rene Magritte.[3] Strand's poems use plain and concrete language, usually without rhyme or meter. In a 1971 interview, Strand said, "I feel very much a part of a new international style that has a lot to do with plainness of diction, a certain reliance on surrealist techniques, and a strong narrative element."[4]

Recognition Edit

Publications Edit


  • Sleeping with One Eye Open. Stone Wall Press, 1964.
  • Reasons for Moving: Poems. New York:Atheneum, 1968.
  • Darker: Poems. New York: Atheneum, 1970.
  • The Story of Our Lives. New York: Atheneum, 1973.
  • The Sargeantville Notebook. Providence, RI: Burning Deck, 1974.
  • Elegy for My Father. Windhover, 1978.
  • The Late Hour. New York: Atheneum, 1978.
  • Selected Poems. New York: Atheneum, 1980.
  • The Continuous Life. New York: Knopf, 1990.
  • The Monument. New York: Ecco, 1991.
  • Reasons for Moving, Darker, and the Sargeantville Notebook.New York: Knopf, 1992.
  • Dark Harbor: A poem. New York: Knopf, 1993.
  • Blizzard of One: Poems. Knopf, 1998.
  • 89 Clouds (long poem; monotypes by Wendy Mark; introduction by Thomas Hoving). New York: ACA Galleries, 1999.
  • Chicken, Shadow, Moon & More (illustrated by Strand). New York: Turtle Point Press, 2000.[5]
  • Man and Camel. New York: Knopf, 2005.
  • New Selected Poems. New York: Knopf, 2007.
  • Collected Poems. New York: Knopf, 2014.[5]

Short fictionEdit

  • Mr. and Mrs. Baby, and other stories. New York: Knopf, 1985.


  • The Monument. New York: Ecco, 1978.
  • William Bailey (art criticism). Abrams, 1987.
  • Hopper (art criticism). New York: Ecco, 1994.
  • The Weather of Words: Poetic invention. New York: Knopf, 2000.


  • The Planet of Lost Things (illustrated by William Pene du Bois). C.N. Potter, 1982.
  • The Night Book (illustrated by Pene du Bois). New York: C.N. Potter, 1983.
  • Rembrandt Takes a Walk (illustrated by Red Grooms). New York: C.N. Potter, 1986.


  • 18 Poems from the Quechua (edited & translated). Halty Ferguson, 1971.
  • Rafael Alberti, The Owl's Insomnia (edited & translated). New York: Atheneum, 1973.
  • Carlos Drummond de Andrade, Souvenir of the Ancient World. Antaeus Editions, 1976.
  • Carlos Drummond de Andrade, Traveling in the Family (edited with Thomas Colchie; translated with Elizabeth Bishop, Colchie, & Gregory Rabassa). New York: Random House, 1987.
  • Looking for Poetry: Poems by Carlos Drummond de Andrade and Rafael Alberti, with Songs from the Quechua. New York: Knopf, 2002.


  • The Contemporary American Poets. New York: New American Library, 1968.
  • New Poetry of Mexico. New York: Dutton, 1970.
  • Another Republic: Seventeen European and South American writers (edited with Charles Simic). New York: Ecco, 1976.
  • The Art of the Real: Nine American figurative painters. New York: C.N. Potter, 1983.
  • The Best American Poetry, 1991 (edited with David Lehman). New York: Macmillan, 1991.
  • Golden Ecco Anthology. New York: Ecco Press, 1994.
  • The Making of a Poem: A Norton anthology of poetic forms. New York: Norton, 2000.
  • 100 Great Poems of the Twentieth Century. New York: Norton, 2005.

Except where noted, bibliographical information courtesy the Poetry Foundation.[6]

Audio / videooEdit

Mark Strand reads "The Couple"06:53

Mark Strand reads "The Couple"

  • Mark Strand Reading (CD). Aspen, CO: Aspen Writers' Foundation, 1983.
  • Mark Strand (cassette). New York: Academy of American Poets, [199-]
  • The Making of a Poem: A Norton anthology of poetic forms (CD). Princeton, NJ: Recording for the Blind & Dyslexic, 2006.
  • 100 Great Poems of the 20th Century (audiobook). Princeton, NJ: Recording for the Blind & Dyslexic, 2007.

Except where noted, discographical information courtesy WorldCat.[7]

See also Edit


  • Perkins, George and Barbara Perkins, Ed. (1988) Contemporary American Literature. New York: McGraw-Hill

Notes Edit

  1. "Poet Laureate Timeline: 1981-1990". Library of Congress. 2008. Retrieved 2009-01-01. 
  2. "Mark Strand (1934 - )," Poetry Foundation, Web, July 12, 2009.
  3. Perkins, George and Barbara Perkins, Ed. Contemporary American Literature. New York: McGraw-Hill, 1988, p. 953.
  4. Perkins, p. 953
  5. 5.0 5.1 Search results = au:Mark Strand, WorldCat, OCLC Online Computer Library Center Inc. Web, Mar. 11, 2015.
  6. Mark Strand b. 1934, Poetry foundation, Web, June 26, 2012.
  7. Search results = au:Mark Strand, WorldCat, OCLC Online Computer Library Center Inc. Web, Dec. 1, 2015.

External links Edit

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