The poetry of 2005 National Book Award Winner WS Merwin has just arrived on my horizon. I've not read anywhere near enough to make a judgement yet, and what I have read I am, so far, rather cool about. But I'm interested enough to read more and, happily, I can: Copper Canyon Press have been kind enough to send on copies of Merwin's Migration: New & Selected Poems and his most recent collection Present Company and Shoemaker & Hoard have sent on his memoir Summer Doorways (in 1948, aged twenty-one, Merwin made his first trip to Europe ... and, amongst other things, he met the young Samuel Beckett).
WS Merwin was born in New York City in 1927. From 1949 to 1951 he worked as a tutor in France, Mallorca, and Portugal; for several years afterward he made the greater part of his living by translating from French, Spanish, Latin, and Portuguese. His many awards include the 2005 National Book Award in Poetry for Migration: New & Selected Poems, the Pulitzer Prize in Poetry, the Tanning Prize for mastery in the art of poetry, the Bollingen Award, the Ruth Lily Poetry Prize, as well as fellowships from the Rockefeller and the Guggenheim Foundations and the National Endowment for the Arts ... For the past thirty years he has lived in Hawaii.