Simic, Charles

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.

Simic, Charles

Charles Simic (sĬm´Ĭc), 1938–, American poet, b. Belgrade, Yugoslavia (now in Serbia), grad. New York Univ. (B.A., 1966). Simic moved to the United States in 1954, joining his father, who had arrived before World War II. Simic taught at several colleges, most notably from 1974 at the Univ. of New Hampshire, where he is now professor emeritus. He has written more than 60 books, including the poetry collections What the Grass Says (1960), Charon's Cosmology (1977), Unending Blues (1986), The World Doesn't End (1990, Pulitzer Prize), Dime-Store Alchemy (1992, repr 2011), Walking the Black Cat (1996), Jackstraws (1999), The Voice at 3:00 AM (2003), My Noiseless Entourage (2005), That Little Something (2008), New and Selected Poems: 1962–2012 (2013), and The Lunatic (2015). His poetry is stark and startlingly original, with touches of ironic humor; his language is plainspoken and accessible, although his imagery is often dark and sometimes bizarre. He also is celebrated for his translations of Yugoslav and French poets, and has written many essays and edited several anthologies. His selected prose was collected in The Life of Images (2015). A former MacArthur fellow (1984–89), Simic was U.S. poet laureate in 2007–8.

See his collected memoirs, A Fly in the Soup (2003); M. Hulse, Charles Simic in Conversation with Michael Hulse (2002); B. Weigl, ed., Charles Simic: Essays on the Poetry (1996).

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