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Poetry Path: W. S. Merwin

W. S. Merwin

W. S. Merwin Excerpt

W. S. Merwin was born in 1927 in New York City. After graduating from Princeton University in 1948, he lived in London, Southern France, and Boston, where he entered the circle of writers surrounding Robert Lowell and committed himself to writing poetry. He was the author of over twenty collections, most recently, Garden Time (Copper Canyon Press, 2016), and published nearly twenty books of translation. Among other honors, he was a U.S. Poet Laureate, and won a Pulitzer Prize, a National Book Award, the Lannan Literary Award for Lifetime Achievement, and the Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize. He received fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Rockefeller Foundation. A committed anti-war and environmental activist, Merwin died in March 2019.

Photos by Daniel Terna

W. S. Merwin, “Place” from The Rain in the Trees (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1988). Copyright © 1988 by W. S. Merwin. Reprinted with the permission of The Wylie Agency, LLC.

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The Poetry Path is made possible through a partnership with Battery Park City Authority, partners in design and fabrication of the Poetry Path, with additional support from our Outreach Partner, Goldman Sachs. Special thanks to the Arthur F. and Alice E. Adams Foundation for funding the Poetry Path planning process, and to the Marcia Brady Tucker Foundation for supporting Poetry Path educational initiatives for youth and children.


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