Marge Piercy

1936 –

Poet, novelist, and essayist Marge Piercy was born in Detroit, Michigan, 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.

She 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 (1982), and many novels, including Sex Wars: A Novel of Guilded Age New York (William Morrow, 2006).

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."

She edited the poetry anthology Early Ripening: American Women Poets Now (1988), and is currently the poetry editor of Tikkun. In 1990 she collaborated with Nell Blaine, a painter, on a book entitled The Earth Shines Secretly: A Book Of Days, which featured Piercy's poetry and Blaine's artwork. Piercy lives with her husband, writer Ira Wood, in Wellfleet, Massachusetts.