Poet, novelist, critic, and translator David Slavitt was born in White Plains, New York. He earned a BA from Yale, graduating magna cum laude, in 1956 and an MA from Columbia in 1957. After leaving Yale, he began his writing career as a movie critic at Newsweek magazine. He has since authored more than 100 works of literature, in styles ranging from dramatic translations to pulp fiction. Despite the diversity of his literary endeavors, however, poetry remains his primary occupation. He has said, “There is almost always a longish project to which I can repair for entertainment and occupation. But I will put that aside, whatever it is, if a poem presents itself to me.” Like the rest of his work, Slavitt’s poetry is full of wit, though it balances satire with a sense of gravity. Notable collections of poetry include Dozens (1981) and PS3569.L3 (1998).
Slavitt is the recipient of numerous awards, including a National Endowment for the Arts fellowship for translation, an award for literature from the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters, and a Rockefeller Foundation artist’s residency. He currently lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts.