Marge Piercy

1936 –

Poet, novelist, and essayist Marge Piercy was born in Detroit on March 31, 1936. She won a scholarship to the University of Michigan and was the first member of her family to attend college. She subsequently earned a master’s degree from Northwestern University.

Piercy has published numerous books of poetry, including Made in Detroit (Knopf, 2015); The Crooked Inheritance (Knopf, 2013); and The Hunger Moon: New and Selected Poems, 1980–2010 (Knopf, 2012). She is also the author of a collection of essays on poetry, Parti-Colored Blocks for a Quilt (University of Michigan Press, 1982), and many novels, including Sex Wars: A Novel of Gilded Age New York (William Morrow, 2006). She also edited the poetry anthology Early Ripening: American Women Poets Now (Pandora, 1987).

Piercy is dedicated to exploring the interstices of ideology and aesthetics by way of Marxist, feminist, and environmentalist strains of thought. “To name,” she writes, “is not to possess what cannot / be owned or even known in the small words / and endless excuses of human speech.”

Piercy served as the poetry editor of Tikkun in the 1980s. In 1990, she collaborated with Nell Blaine, a painter, on a book titled The Earth Shines Secretly: A Book Of Days (Zoland Books), which featured Piercy’s poetry and Blaine’s artwork. 

Piercy lives in Wellfleet, Massachusetts.