Averill Curdy

Averill Curdy

A lyric poet influenced by Donne, Hopkins, Merrill, and Auden, Averill Curdy notes, “In my own work, the aural quality and weight of words is very important and I think it’s partly an attempt to make them feel as material as the smears of color on a painter’s palette.” Her meditative, dense lines are smoothed by time; as Curdy explains, “I write slowly—always, it seems, at the very limit of what I know.”

Curdy began to write poetry seriously in her 30s, a few years after her mother’s death. Early in her writing career she took a workshop with Ed Hirsch, whose encouragement motivated her to pursue writing further. She earned an MFA at the University of Houston and a PhD at the University of Missouri.

Curdy co-edited, with Lynne McMahon, The Longman Anthology of Poetry (2006)—a painstaking task during which she found that “Elizabeth Bishop and Emily Dickinson seem to be the only poets on whom everyone agrees.”

She has won the Rona Jaffe Foundation Writing Award, a Pushcart Prize, and fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Illinois Council for the Arts. She has also won a Lannan Writing Residency Fellowship. Her poems have appeared in many journals, including Poetry, The Paris Review, The Kenyon Review, and The New England Review.

She lives in Chicago and teaches at Northwestern University.

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Articles By AVERILL CURDY

Audio & Podcasts

Poem of the Day Poem of the Day Poem of the Day Poem of the Day Poem of the Day Poem of the Day Poem of the Day Poem of the Day The Poetry Magazine Podcast
  • Listen The Dark Has No Teeth
    Poems by D. Nurkse, Rae Armantrout, Averill Curdy, and Michael Hofmann, plus Tom Sleigh's take on Thom Gunn.
The Poetry Magazine Podcast
  • Listen Iamb What Iamb
    Poems from Ron Silliman, Averill Curdy, Paul Hoover, and Allen Edwin Butt. Plus Clare Cavanagh talks about translating the notebooks of Anna Kamienska.
Poetry Off the Shelf

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POET’S REGION U.S., Midwestern

Averill Curdy

Biography

A lyric poet influenced by Donne, Hopkins, Merrill, and Auden, Averill Curdy notes, “In my own work, the aural quality and weight of words is very important and I think it’s partly an attempt to make them feel as material as the smears of color on a painter’s palette.” Her meditative, dense lines are smoothed by time; as Curdy explains, “I write slowly—always, it seems, at the very limit of what I know.”

Curdy began to write . . .

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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