Announcing the Special Guest Lineup for That Poetry, By Which I lived

We are proud to announce that these seven special guests will be joining Major Jackson in conversation about the life and work of Community of Writers Poetry Program founder Galway Kinnell as part of the Short Course, That Poetry, By Which I lived.

The short course will take place online Tuesdays and Thursdays from November 30 to December 14. Join us this winter to celebrate the life and poetry of Galway Kinnell with the support of poets. Among them are former students, lifelong friends, and colleagues. With Jackson, they will discuss Kinnell’s influence, craft and the major themes found in his tremendous body of work.

Learn More and Register


Toi Derricotte‘s sixth collection of poetry, “I“ New and Selected Poems, was shortlisted for the 2019 National Book Award. She was awarded the Pegasus Award from the Poetry Foundation in 2023, the
Wallace Stevens Award from the Academy of American Poets in 2021, and the Frost Medal from the Poetry Society of America in 2020. With Cornelius Eady, she co-founded Cave Canem, a home for the many voices of African American poetry, in 1996. More

Nick Flynn is the author of five books of poetry, four memoirs, a play, a handbook for teaching poetry to young people, as well as a compendium of his artistic collaborations / influences. One of the most inventive writers at work today, his poetry and prose both explore the tenuous membrane that separates our comfortable, everyday existence from the ragged margins of society. The questions he poses are tough and urgent. Flynn teaches creative writing at the University of Houston, and splits his time between Houston and Brooklyn, New York. More

Robert Hass has published many books of poetry including Field GuidePraiseHuman WishesSun Under Wood, and The Apple Trees at Olema: New and Selected Poems. His collection of poems entitled Time and Materials won both the National Book Award and the Pulitzer Prize. He has also written books of essays including Twentieth Century PleasuresNow & Then, and  A Little Book on Form: An Exploration Into the Formal Imagination of Poetry. His book of essays, What Light Can Do: Essays on Art, Imagination, and the Natural World, is the recipient of the PEN/Diamonstein-Spielvogel Award for the Art of the Essay. Hass translated many of the works of Nobel Prize-winning Polish poet, Czeslaw Milosz, and he has edited Selected Poems: 1954-1986, by Tomas Transtromer; The Essential Haiku: Versions of Basho, Buson, and IssaPoet’s Choice: Poems for Everyday Life; the 2001 edition of Best American Poetry; and Modernist Women Poets: An Anthology (with Paul Ebenkamp). He wrote the introduction to an edition of selected Walt Whitman poems titled Song of Myself: And Other Poems. He also wrote The Poetic Species: A Conversation with Edward O. Wilson and Robert Hass. His most recent book is Summer Snow: New Poems. He directed the Poetry Program at the Community of Writers for over 20 years.

Edward Hirsch is a celebrated poet and tireless advocate for poetry. His first collection of poems, For the Sleepwalkers (1981), received the Delmore Schwartz Memorial Award from New York University and the Lavan Younger Poets Award from the Academy of American Poets. His second collection, Wild Gratitude (1986), won the National Book Critics Award. He has published eight additional books of poems: The Night Parade (1989), Earthly Measures (1994), On Love (1998), Lay Back the Darkness (2003), Special Orders (2008), The Living Fire: New and Selected Poems (2010), which brings together thirty-five years of poems, Gabriel: A Poem, a book-length elegy for his son (2014), and Stranger by Night (2020).

Hirsch is also the author of seven prose books, including, most recently, 100 Poems to Break Your Heart (2022) and The Heart of American Poetry (2023), as well as A Poet’s Glossary (2014), the result of decades of passionate study, Poet’s Choice (2006), which consists of his popular columns from the Washington Post Book World, and How to Read a Poem and Fall in Love with Poetry (1999), a national bestseller. He is the editor of Theodore Roethke’s Selected Poems (2005) and co-editor of The Making of a Sonnet: A Norton Anthology (2008). He also edits the series “The Writer’s World” (Trinity University Press).

Edward Hirsch taught for six years in the English Department at Wayne State University and seventeen years in the Creative Writing Program at the University of Houston. He has been president of the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation since 2002. More

Tyehimba Jess is the author of two books of poetry, Leadbelly and OlioOlio won the 2017 Pulitzer Prize, the Anisfield-Wolf Book Award, The Midland Society Author’s Award in Poetry, and received an Outstanding Contribution to Publishing Citation from the Black Caucus of the American Library Association.  It was also nominated for the National Book Critics Circle Award, the PEN Jean Stein Book Award, and the Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award.  Leadbelly was a winner of the 2004 National Poetry Series. The Library Journal and Black Issues Book Review both named it one of the “Best Poetry Books of 2005.”

Jess’ fiction and poetry have appeared in many journals, as well as anthologies such as Angles of Ascent: A Norton Anthology of Contemporary African American PoetryBeyond The Frontier: African American Poetry for the Twenty-First Century, Role Call: A Generational Anthology of Social and Political Black Literature and Art, Bum Rush the Page: A Def Poetry Jam, Power Lines: Ten Years of Poetry from Chicago’s Guild Complex, and Slam: The Art of Performance Poetry. More

Sharon Olds has written thirteen books of poetry. Balladz was a finalist for the National Book Award, and Stag’s Leap (2012) received the Pulitzer Prize and England’s T. S. Eliot Prize. Olds holds the Erich Maria Remarque Chair at New York University’s Graduate Program in Creative Writing, where she helped to found workshop programs for residents of Coler-Goldwater Hospital, and for veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. More

Lisa Sewell is the author of several books of poems, including Birds of North America, with Susan Hagen and Nathalie Anderson, a pandemic-inspired collaboration that joins art, poetry and the love of birds, Impossible Object, which won the 2014 Tenth Gate prize from The Word Works, as well as The Way Out (Alice James Books) Name Withheld (Four Way Books), and Long Corridor, which received the 2009 Keystone Chapbook award from Seven Kitchens Press. A new book, Mean Season, will be published in June 2024 with The Word Works press. She is also co-editor of several collections of essays on contemporary poetry and poetics, including North American Women Poets in the 21st Century: Beyond Lyric and Language (Wesleyan 2021)  with Kazim Ali and American Poets in the 21st Century: The New Poetics (Wesleyan 2007) with Claudia Rankine. She has received grants and awards from the Leeway Foundation, The National Endowment for the Arts, the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, and the Fine Arts Work Center at Provincetown, and held residencies at the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, the MacDowell Colony, Yaddo, Fundacion Valparaiso and The Tyrone Guthrie Center. Recent work is appearing or forthcoming in Harvard ReviewPloughsharesSalamander, Crab Orchard Review and Prairie Schooner. She lives in Philadelphia and teaches at Villanova University. More