Congratulations, Kay Ryan and A.E. Stallings!


"Let there be lightness" (Photo: L.A. Cicero)

Who could be more deserving of a MacArthur “Genius” Award than Kay Ryan?  (We’ve written about her here and here and here – and my 2004 San Francisco Magazine essay on her, “Let There Be Lightness,” is here.)

Here’s what the New York Times had to say:

“Kay Ryan, 65, a former poet laureate of the United States who won the Pulitzer Prize for poetry this year, said the money provided a certain “mental ease,” as she continues to write and to advocate for community colleges, where she has taught remedial English skills for decades.” [For you Bay Area denizens out there, she taught at the College of Marin – ED.]

In Athens (Photo: John Psaropoulos)

“I was very, very surprised,” said Ms. Ryan, who lives in Fairfax, Calif. “I had certainly thought I was over the hill. Obviously these people think I’ve got five more good years in me.”

But here’s the other half of the news:  A.E. Stallings has also been awarded.  I sent my congratulations to both, Alicia via Facebook, Kay by “regular” email.  And also a note to Dana Gioia, who has promoted Kay’s work since way back when she was a relatively unknown Marin poet.  His reaction?  “Great news for two fabulous poets.”

Time to finally get a copy of Alicia’s 2007 verse translation of Lucretius‘s De Rerum Natura (The Nature of Things).  Yes, I’m that far behind.

 Postscript on 9/21:  And happy birthday too, Kay!

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One Response to “Congratulations, Kay Ryan and A.E. Stallings!”

  1. Dave Lull Says:

    Excerpts from A.E. Stallings’ Lucretius translation can be found here: