anne-carson

Anne Carson was born on 21 June 1950 and is a Canadian poet, essayist, translator. Carson lived in Montreal for several years and taught at McGill University, the University of Michigan, and at Princeton University from 1980-1987. She was a 1998 Guggenheim Fellow and in 2000 she was awarded a MacArthur Fellowship. She has also won a Lannan Literary Award.

She is reticent about her private life; the biography published in current editions of her books simply states: “Anne Carson lives in Canada.”

Though distinguished, Carson’s academic training did not run a straight path. The fascination with classical literature which dominates her work began to take root in high school. There, a Latin instructor introduced her to the world and language of Ancient Greece and tutored the future poet privately. Enrolling at St. Michael’s College at the University of Toronto, she left twice—at the end of her first and second years. Carson, disconcerted by curricular constraints (particularly by a required course on Milton), retired to the world of graphic arts for a short time. She did eventually return to the University of Toronto where she completed her B.A. in 1974, her M.A. in 1975 and her Ph.D. in 1981.

A professor of  classics, with background in classical languages, comparative literature, anthropology, history, and commercial art, Carson blends ideas and themes from many fields in her writing. She frequently references, modernizes, and translates Greek mythology. She has published fifteen books as of 2010, all of which blend the forms of poetry, essay, prose, criticism, translation, dramatic dialogue, fiction, and non-fiction.

Anne Carson was an Anna-Maria Kellen Fellow at the American Academy in Berlin, Germany, for Fall 2007.

The Classic Stage Company, a New York–based theatre company, produced three of Carson’s translations: Aeschylus’ Agamemnon; Sophocles’ Electra; and Euripides’ Orestes (as An Oresteia), in repertory, in the 2008/2009 season.

She was Poet-in-Residence at New York University. Carson is a judge for the 2010 Griffin Poetry Prize.

 

Selected works

* Odi et Amo Ergo Sum (1986) PhD Dissertation, University of Toronto

* Eros the Bittersweet (1986) Princeton University Press

* Glass, Irony, and God (1992) New Directions Publishing Company

* Short Talks (1992) Brick Books

* Plainwater (1995) Knopf

* Autobiography of Red: A Novel in Verse (1998) Knopf

* Economy of the Unlost: Reading Simonides of Ceos with Paul Celan (1999) Princeton University Press

* Men in the Off Hours (2001) Knopf

* Electra (translation) (2001) Oxford

* The Beauty of the Husband (2001) Knopf

* If Not, Winter: Fragments of Sappho (2002) Knopf

* Wonderwater (Alice Offshore) (volume two, a collaboration with Roni Horn) (2004) Steidl

* Decreation: Poetry, Essays, Opera (2005) Knopf

* Grief Lessons: Four Plays by Euripides (translation) (2006) New York Review Books Classics

* An Oresteia (Translation of Agamemnon, Elektra, Orestes. (2009) Faber and Faber

* NOX (2010) New Directions, incorporating Carmen 101 of Catullus

 

Selected awards and honours

* Lannan Literary Award (1996)

* Pushcart Prize (1997)

* Guggenheim Fellowship (1998)

* MacArthur Fellowship (2000)

* Griffin Poetry Prize (2001) for Men in the Off Hours

* T. S. Eliot Prize (2001) for The Beauty of the Husband