New York, NY (January 12, 2016)—The Academy of American Poets is pleased to announce that Brenda Hillman has been named its newest Chancellor, an honorary position that has been held by some of the most distinguished poets in the United States, including W. H. Auden, John Ashbery, Elizabeth Bishop, Lucille Clifton, Yusef Komunyakaa, Adrienne Rich, and Mark Strand.
As a member of the Board of Chancellors, Hillman will consult with the organization on matters of artistic programming, serve as a judge for the organization’s largest prizes for poets, and act as ambassador of poetry in the world at large. Hillman was selected by the fifteen members of the Academy’s current Board of Chancellors, which includes U.S. Poet Laureate Juan Felipe Herrera. She will serve for a period of six years, filling the seat vacated by Naomi Shihab Nye, whose term as Chancellor has concluded.
Born in Tucson, Arizona, Hillman holds an MFA from the University of Iowa. She is the author of several books including, Seasonal Works with Letters on Fire (Wesleyan University Press, 2013); Practical Water (2011); Pieces of Air in the Epic (2005); Cascadia (2001); Loose Sugar (1997), which was a finalist for National Book Critic’s Circle; and Bright Existence (1993), a finalist for Pulitzer Prize.
She is the coeditor of The Grand Permission: New Writings on Poetics and Motherhood (Wesleyan University Press, 2003), and the editor of a collection of Emily Dickinson’s poems published by Shambhala Press in 1995. Her other honors include awards and fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Poetry Society of America, along with a Bay Area Book Reviewer’s Award, a Pushcart Prize, and the Delmore Schwartz Memorial Award.
About her work, the critic Karen An-Hwei Lee writes in the Iowa Review, “Hillman’s devotion to social justice—her unwavering belief in poetry’s capacity to address root causes of our political strife—ultimately purifies our fallen world in the languages of elemental fire.”
Hillman currently holds the Olivia Filippi Chair in Poetry at St. Mary’s College in Moraga, California, and lives in the Bay Area with her husband, the Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Robert Hass.
About the Academy of American Poets
The Academy of American Poets is the nation’s largest membership-based nonprofit organization championing poets and poetry. The organization produces Poets.org, the world’s largest publicly-funded website for poets and poetry; National Poetry Month; the popular Poem-a-Day series; American Poets magazine; resources for K-12 educators; and an annual series of poetry readings and special events. In addition, since its founding in 1934, the Academy has awarded more money to poets than any other organization through its American Poets Prizes.
Contact: Emily Liebowitz, (212) 274-0343, ext. 22, [email protected]