Richard Tillinghast

A black and white image of a white man standing in front of a brick wall

Richard Tillinghast is the author of eleven books of poetry-most recently Selected Poems (Dedalus Press, 2009), and Sewanee Poems (Evergreen Press, 2009) as well as three non-fiction books: Finding Ireland (University of Notre Dame press, 2008), Damaged Grandeur, a critical memoir of the poet Robert Lowell, with whom he studied as a graduate student at Harvard in the mid-sixties (University of Michigan Press, 1995) and Poetry and What Is Real , a collection of essays (University of Michigan Press, 2004). With Julia Clare Tillinghast he has translated the poems of Edip Cansever from Turkish, published in 2009 as Dirty August. For this book the translators received a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts. For twenty years he reviewed new poetry for the New York Times Book Review. He has also reviewed and written literary essays for The Wall Street Journal, The Irish Times, The Washington Post, and The New Criterion, as well as writing travel articles for the New York Times. His poems have appeared in The Atlantic Monthly, The New Republic, Paris Review, American Poetry Review, Five Points, The Georgia Review, The New Yorker, Poetry, and other magazines, as well as online on Slate and Poetry Daily, in addition to having been featured on Garrison Keilor’s NPR show, “The Writer’s Almanac.”

For over twenty years he was a faculty member in the Master of Fine Arts program at the University of Michigan and was also a Director of The Poets’ House in Ireland. In 2001 he founded the Bear River Writers’ Conference in northern Michigan and served as its director through 2005. Earlier in his career he was on the faculty at Harvard, the University of California at Berkeley, and the University of the South at Sewanee. He has also done performance poetry; in 1998 he released a poetry/music CD, “My Only Friends Were the Wolves,” with the Ann Arbor-based jazz fusion band, Poignant Plecostomus.

In 2005 he took early retirement from the University of Michigan and now lives in rural County Tipperary near the town of Kilkenny, where he is able to pursue writing full-time.

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