Campbell McGrath biography, plus links to book reviews and book excerpts from books by Campbell McGrath.

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Campbell McGrath

Campbell McGrath

Campbell McGrath Biography

Born in Chicago to Irish-Catholic parents, Campbell McGrath earned his BA from the University of Chicago and MFA from Columbia University. Influenced by Walt Whitman, James Wright, Sylvia Plath, and Rainer Maria Rilke, McGrath writes predominantly free-verse, long-lined, documentary poems deeply engaged with American popular culture and commerce. A master of the long poem, he has also written many prose poems as well as shorter lyrics.

McGrath has published numerous collections of poetry, including Spring Comes to Chicago (1996), which won the Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award. In awarding the prize, poet Garrett Hongo labeled McGrath's unique tone "ironic romanticism." The centerpiece of the collection, and one of McGrath's best-known poems is The Bob Hope Poem, a 70-page opus modeled on Robert Pinsky's "An Explanation of America" and James McMichael's "Four Good Things."

McGrath's many books of poetry include Capitalism (1990); American Noise (1994); Florida Poems (2002); Pax Atomica (2005); Seven Notebooks (2007); and In the Kingdom of the Sea Monkeys (2012). McGrath's work typically works as a kind of catalog; its long lines attempt to look at the vast complexity of America and penetrate its paradoxes and attractions.

McGrath is also the co-translator of Aristophanes's The Wasps (1999). He has won a MacArthur Foundation "Genius" Grant, a Guggenheim Fellowship, a Witter Bynner Fellowship from the Library of Congress, the Academy of American Poets Prize, the Cohen Award from Ploughshares literary journal, and a Pushcart Prize. His poetry has been widely anthologized, including in The New Bread Loaf Anthology of Contemporary American Poetry (1999), The New American Poets (2000), and Great American Prose Poems (2003).

McGrath has taught at the University of Chicago, Northwestern University, and Florida International University.

This biography was last updated on 01/17/2014.

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Shannon
Shannon

by Campbell McGrath

From the inimitable Campbell McGrath comes an epic poem of George Shannon, the youngest member of the Lewis and Clark expedition, who wandered the prairie alone for sixteen days.
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All the books below are recommended as readalikes for Campbell McGrath but some maybe more relevant to you than others depending on which books by the author you have read and enjoyed. So look for the suggested read-alikes by title linked on the right.
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  • Margaret Atwood

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    Margaret Atwood was born in 1939 in Ottawa, and grew up in northern Ontario and Quebec, and in Toronto. She received her undergraduate degree from Victoria College at the University of Toronto and her master's degree ... (more)

    If you enjoyed:
    Shannon

    Try:
    The Journals of Susanna Moodie
    by Margaret Atwood

  • Laura Bell

    Laura Bell

    Laura Bell’s work has been published in several collections, and from the Wyoming Arts Council she has received two literature fellowships as well as the Neltje Blanchan Memorial Award and the Frank Nelson Doubleday ... (more)

    If you enjoyed:
    Shannon

    Try:
    Claiming Ground
    by Laura Bell

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