Poet, fiction writer, translator, art critic, literary scholar, and professor emerita of Queens College Harriet Zinnes died in her sleep on November 30, 2019. Highly prolific, Zinnes authored eleven books of poetry, five chapbooks, two short story collections, edited Ezra Pound’s art criticisms, translated the poems of Jacques Prévert, and wrote countless literary articles for journals such as The Nation, Chelsea, Denver Quarterly, Colorado Review, Hollins Critic, Philadelphia Inquirer, and art reviews for NY Arts and other art magazines.
Colorado Review poetry editor Donald Revell writes, “Harriet Zinnes was a linchpin of American poetry and poetics. In her poems and in her critical writings, she blazoned ever calmly, ever tenderly, with passional contact between the visual and the verbal, between intimate whisper and the wide, wild act. As long as she was with us, the heady days of the New York School, of Abstract Expressionism and Gestural Realism, could never end. In her every utterance, the cross-talk in and around MOMA and amongst the flowers springing out of sidewalks made constant chorus. Harriet Zinnes was the conscience and clerestory of our brightest avant-gardes. She will be keenly missed.”
During the service, Zinnes will be remembered through videos of her reading, as well as readings of her poems, stories and translations by poets Daniela Gioseffi, Thomas Fink, Burt Kimmelman, Professor Nelly Frechin de Castet, music by contemporary composers Gheorghe Constinescu and Geo Ping, family members and other.
The service is free and open to all lovers of poetry. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to Poets House, and will distribute books by Zinnes as thank-you gifts. This has been made possible through Poets House’s Literary Partners Program.