Lyn Hejinian

1941 –

Lyn Hejinian was born in the San Francisco Bay Area on May 17, 1941. A poet, essayist, and translator, she is also the author and coauthor of several books of poetry, most recently Tribunal (Omnidawn Publishing, 2019). 

From 1976 to 1984, Hejinian was editor of Tuumba Press, and since 1981 she has been the coeditor of Poetics Journal. She is also the codirector of Atelos, a literary project commissioning and publishing cross-genre work by poets.

About Hejinian’s book The Fatalist, the poet Juliana Spahr has written,

Hejinian’s work often demonstrates how poetry is a way of thinking, a way of encountering and constructing the world, one endless utopian moment even as it is full of failures.

Hejinian’s honors include a Writing Fellowship from the California Arts Council, a grant from the Poetry Fund, and a Translation Fellowship (for her Russian translations) from the National Endowment of the Arts. She received the 2000 Academy Fellowship from the Academy of American Poets for distinguished poetic achievement. In 2006, she was elected a Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets, a role in which she served until 2012. She taught at the University of California, Berkeley, where she was a professor and John F. Hotchkis Chair Emerita, and lived in Berkeley until her death.