Alice Notley

b. 1945
Alice Notley
Alice Notley was born in Arizona and grew up in Needles, California. After earning her BA from Barnard College and MFA from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, Notley traveled extensively around the US and abroad. In 1972 she married the poet Ted Berrigan and had two sons with him, the poets Anselm and Edmund Berrigan. Active in the New York poetry scene of the 1960s and ‘70s, Notley is often identified with the so-called Second Generation New York School poets, though her work resists any period classification. In an interview with the Kenyon Review, Notley noted: “I think I try with my poems to create a beginning space. I always seem to be erasing and starting over, rather than picking up where I left off, even if I wind up taking up the same themes. This is probably one reason that I change form and style so much, out of a desire to find a new beginning, which is always the true beginning.”

Notley is the author of over twenty five books of poetry, including 165 Meeting House Lane (1971), Phoebe Light (1973), Incidentals in the Day World (1973), For Frank O’Hara’s Birthday (1976), Alice Ordered Me to Be Made: Poems 1975 (1976), Dr. Williams’ Heiresses (1980), How Spring Comes (1981), which received the San Francisco Poetry Award, Waltzing Matilda (1981), Margaret & Dusty (1985), From a Work in Progress (1988), Homer’s Art (1990), To Say You (1993), Selected Poems of Alice Notley (1993), The Descent of Alette (1996), among many others. Mysteries of Small Houses (1998) won the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, and her collection Disobedience (2001) was awarded the Griffin International Poetry Prize. Notley’s recent work includes From the Beginning (2004), Alma, or the Dead Women (2006), Grave of Light: New and Selected Poems 1970-2005), which received the Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize, In the Pines (2007), Culture of One (2011), and Songs and Stories of the Ghouls (2011).

In addition to collections of poetry, Notley has published the autobiography Tell Me Again (1982), the play Anne’s White Glove (1985), and a book of essays on poets and poetry, Coming After (2005). She edited and wrote the introduction for the reissue of Ted Berrigan’s The Sonnets (2000), as well as editing, with her sons, The Collected Poems of Ted Berrigan (2005). Her honors and awards include an Academy Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters and the Shelley Memorial Award from the Poetry Society of America. She has also been a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. She was married the British poet Douglas Oliver until his death in 2000. She has lived in Paris since 1992.

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SCHOOL / PERIOD New York School (2nd Generation)

LIFE SPAN 1945–

Alice Notley

Biography

Alice Notley was born in Arizona and grew up in Needles, California. After earning her BA from Barnard College and MFA from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, Notley traveled extensively around the US and abroad. In 1972 she married the poet Ted Berrigan and had two sons with him, the poets Anselm and Edmund Berrigan. Active in the New York poetry scene of the 1960s and ‘70s, Notley is often identified with the so-called Second . . .

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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