David Ferry (poet)

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David Ferry
Born1924
Orange, New Jersey
OccupationPoet, professor
LanguageEnglish
NationalityUnited States
Alma materAmherst College;
Harvard University
Genrespoetry
Notable award(s)Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize;
Rebekah Johnson Bobbitt National Prize for Poetry;
Harold Morton Landon Translation Award;
National Book Award
Spouse(s)Anne Ferry
 
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David Ferry
Born1924
Orange, New Jersey
OccupationPoet, professor
LanguageEnglish
NationalityUnited States
Alma materAmherst College;
Harvard University
Genrespoetry
Notable award(s)Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize;
Rebekah Johnson Bobbitt National Prize for Poetry;
Harold Morton Landon Translation Award;
National Book Award
Spouse(s)Anne Ferry

David Ferry (born 1924) is an American poet, translator, and educator. He has published eight collections of his poetry and a volume of literary criticism.

Life[edit]

Ferry was born in Orange, New Jersey, and grew up and attended Columbia High School amid the “wild hills” of suburban Maplewood, New Jersey.[1] His undergraduate education at Amherst College was interrupted by his service in the United States Army Air Force during World War II. He ultimately received his B.A. from Amherst in 1946. He went on to earn his Ph.D. from Harvard University, and it was during his graduate studies that he published his first poems in The Kenyon Review.

From 1952 until his retirement in 1989, Ferry taught at Wellesley College where he was, for many years, the chairman of the English Department. He now holds the title Sophie Chantal Hart Professor Emeritus of English at Wellesley. He has also taught writing at Boston University. Ferry was elected a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1998, and he is a fellow of the Academy of American Poets.

In 1958, Ferry married the distinguished literary scholar Anne Ferry (died 2006), they had two children, Elizabeth, an anthropologist, and Stephen, a photojournalist.[2] Before moving to his current home in Brookline, Massachusetts, Ferry lived across the Charles River in Cambridge, in the house where 19th century journalist and women's rights advocate Margaret Fuller lived before she joined the Brook Farm community.[3]

Honors and awards[edit]

In 2000, Ferry’s book of new and selected poems and translations, entitled Of No Country I Know, received the Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize from the Academy of American Poets and the Rebekah Johnson Bobbitt National Prize for Poetry from the Library of Congress (for the best work of poetry for the previous two years). He is the author of a critically praised verse rendering of the Mesopotamian Epic of Gilgamesh. The poet W. S. Merwin has described Ferry's work as having an "assured quiet tone" that communicates "complexities of feeling with unfailing proportion and grace."

Ferry is also a recipient of the Harold Morton Landon Translation Award.

In 2011, Ferry was awarded the Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize.[4]

In 2012, Ferry was awarded the National Book Award for Poetry for his book Bewilderment (University of Chicago Press).[5] Bewilderment was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award (2012, Poetry).[6]

Works[edit]

Poetry and Translations
Literary Criticism

References[edit]

  1. ^ "David Ferry". Newsletter of the Friends of the Amherst College Library 29. 2002-2003. Retrieved March 7, 2008.  (Described in his poem "Narcissus")
  2. ^ Mehegan, David (February 7, 2006). "Anne Ferry, noted scholar of English, American poetry". Boston Globe. 
  3. ^ Moore, Judith (July 28, 2005). "The Georgics of Virgil: Bilingual Edition". San Diego Reader.  Interview with Ferry about his translation of The Georgics of Virgil.
  4. ^ "David Ferry Awarded 2011 Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize". Poetry Foundation. April 12, 2011. Retrieved 2011-04-16. 
  5. ^ "2012 National Book Awards Go to Erdrich, Boo, Ferry, Alexander". Publisher's Weekly. Retrieved 15 November 2012. 
  6. ^ John Williams (January 14, 2012). "National Book Critics Circle Names 2012 Award Finalists". New York Times. Retrieved January 15, 2013.