Reginald Gibbons

Reginald Gibbons is a fiction writer, translator, and critic.  Member of the departments of English and Classics; former member of the department Spanish and Portuguese (2007-2016); former Chair of the English Department (2002-2005); currently Director of the Center for the Writing Arts (2006- ); founding Director of the MA/MFA in Creative Writing (2003-2016) at Northwestern (School of Professional Studies).  Former editor of TriQuarterly magazine (1981-1997).  Core faculty, MFA Program for Writers, Warren Wilson College (1984-2011).  AB Princeton 1969, Spanish and Portuguese (Phi Beta Kappa; magna cum laude); MA Stanford 1971, English and Creative writing; PhD Stanford 1974, Comparative Literature (poetry 1850-1950 in English and Romance languages).

AWARDS (in addition to nine book prizes—including Finalist for the National Book Award—listed with book titles, below): Folger Shakespeare Library 2004 O. B. Hardison Jr. Poetry Prize.   Fellowships from Guggenheim Foundation, National Endowment for the Arts, Illinois Arts Council, and the Center for Hellenic Studies.  Inclusion in Best American Poetry and The Pushcart Prize anthologies; Best Short Story Award from the Texas Institute of Letters; John Masefield Award, Poetry Society of America; John Frederick Nims translation award, Poetry magazine; Denver Quarterly Translation Award; Chicago Tribune Chicagoan of the Year, Literature, 2009.




POETRY: Ten full-length volumes: Roofs Voices Roads (Quarterly Review of Literature Prize, 1979).  The Ruined Motel (Houghton Mifflin 1981; winner, New Poetry Series competition).  Saints (Persea Books 1986; winner, National Poetry Series competition).  Maybe It Was So (Univ. of Chicago Press 1991; Carl Sandburg Award).  Sparrow: New and Selected Poems (LSU Press 1997; Balcones Poetry Prize).  Homage to Longshot O’Leary (Holy Cow! Press 1999).  It’s Time (LSU Press 2002; Texas Institute of Letters Best Book of Poetry Award); Creatures of a Day (LSU Press 2008; Finalist, National Book Award).  Slow Trains Overhead: Chicago Poems and Stories (new and selected poems, Univ. of Chicago Press 2010).  Last Lake (Univ. of Chicago 2016).  Also two chapbooks, In the Warhouse (2004) and Fern-Texts (2005).


  In translation, three additional books: Desde una barca de papel: poemas 1981-2009 (selected poems in bilingual English/Spanish edition prepared by Jordi Doce, with translations by Doce, Víctor Manuel Mendiola and Jennifer Clement; Villanueva de la Serena [Spain]: Littera Libros 2010).  L'Abitino Blu (selected poems in bilingual Italian/English edition selected and translated by Piera Mattei; Rome: Gattomerlino/ Superstripes 2012).  Je Pas Je (selected poems in bilingual French/English edition selected and translated by Nathanaël (originally at 2015, now an ebook).


  FICTION:  Three volumes: Sweetbitter (novel; Broken Moon Press 1994; reprint Penguin Books 1996; reprint LSU Press 2003; Anisfield-Wolf Book Award (shared), also Texas Institute of Letters Jesse Jones Award for best novel).  Five Pears or Peaches (short fiction; Broken Moon Press 1991).  An Orchard in the Street (short fiction; forthcoming from BOA Editions Ltd., October 2017). 


CRITICISM: How Poems Think (Univ. of Chicago Press 2015).  William Goyen: A Study of the Short Fiction (Twayne 1991).


 TRANSLATIONS: (a) Twentieth-century Spanish poetry: Selected Poems of Luis Cernuda (Univ. of California Press 1977; paperback reprint Sheep Meadow 1999) and [Jorge] Guillén on Guillén (with A. L. Geist; Princeton Univ. Press 1979).    (b) Ancient Greek: Euripides’ Bakkhai (Oxford Univ. Press 2001 and subsequent pb editions), Sophokles’ Antigone (Oxford Univ. Press 2003 and subsequent pb editions) (both of these co-translated with Charles Segal), and Sophocles, Selected Poems: Odes and Fragments (Princeton Univ. Press 2008; Soeurette Diehl Translation Award, Texas Institute of Letters).  (c) Contemporary Mexican poetry, poems by 27 poets in New Writing from Mexico (TriQuarterly 1992).  (d) Individual poems by Italian, French, Portuguese, Latin American, ancient Greek and other poets, and Russian poems co-translated with Ilya Kutik, published in Poetry magazine, other literary journals and anthologies.


EDITED VOLUMES: The Poets' Work (Houghton-Mifflin 1979; reprint Univ. of Chicago Press 1989); Criticism in the University (co-edited with Gerald Graff; Northwestern Univ. Press 1985); The Writer in Our World (Atlantic Monthly Press 1986); Thomas McGrath: Life and the Poem (co-edited with Terrence Des Pres; Univ. of Illinois Press 1991); New Writing from Mexico (TriQuarterly 1992); Goyen: Autobiographical Essays, Notebooks, Evocations, Interviews (posthumous collection of autobiographical writings of William Goyen [1915-1983], Univ. of Texas Press 2007); as co-editor, From South Africa: New Writing, Photographs and Art (Univ. of Chicago Press 1988); Writers from South Africa: Culture, Politics and Literary Theory and Activity in South Africa Today (TriQuarterly Series on Criticism and Culture, No. 2, 1989), and special issues of TriQuarterly, including A Window on Poland (1983), Prose from Spain (1983), Chicago (1984), Writing and Well-Being (1989), and others.

 JOURNAL ISSUES: TriQuarterly magazine, an international journal of new writing, art and cultural inquiry published at Northwestern University; general and special issues from 1981 to 1997 (numbers #54 to #100).

OTHER PUBLICATIONS: many published essays on poetry and fiction; prefaces and introductions in a number of books; book reviews; and editions of William Goyen, Half a Look

of Cain and The House of Breath, including critical afterwords (Northwestern Univ. Press 1994 and 1999), and as silent editor, Goyen’s posthumous volume of selected stories, Had I A Hundred Mouths (Clarkson Potter 1985; UK edition Serpent’s Tail [UK] 1988).

Poems, fiction, translations, essays, lengthy interviews (of poets Thomas McGrath, Theodore Weiss, and Sterling Plumpp, and fiction writers Cyrus Colter and William Goyen), and anthologized poems in many anthologies.  Columnist (2007-10) for American Poetry Review.

 Also: Works reviewed in major newspapers and journals.  Readings, lectures, classes and workshops given at many colleges, universities, research centers, public libraries, cultural centers, and other institutions in the U.S. and abroad.

WORK IN PROGRESS: new poems and fiction; translations of and commentary on the poetry of Boris Pasternak, co-authored with Ilya Kutik; nonfiction prose books.

 SERVICE: Co-founder and member, Board of Directors, The Guild Literary Complex (Chicago) (; Member, National Advisory Council and also Content Leadership Team, The American Writers Museum (; and others.




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