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.
A note about the biographies
We try to keep BookBrowse's biographies both up to date and accurate. However, with over 2500 lives to keep track of it's inevitable that some won't be as current or as complete as we would like. So, please help us - if the information about a particular author is out of date, inaccurate or simply very short, and you know of a more complete source, please let us know. Authors and those connected with authors: If you wish to make changes to your bio, please send your complete biography as you would like it displayed so that we can replace the old with the new.
Members read and review books ahead
of publication. See what they think
in First Impressions!
Visitors can view a lot of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only
Southern Gothic fantasy with a contemporary flare set in Savannah
Solve this clue:
and be entered to win..
Books thatinspire you.Handpicked.
Books you'll stay up all night reading; books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, books that will expand your mind and inspire you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.