A joint citizen of Ireland and the United States, poet Linda McCarriston was born in Lynn, Massachusetts. She is the author of several poetry collections, including Talking Soft Dutch (1984); Eva-Mary (1991), which won Northwestern University’s Terrence Des Pres Prize and was shortlisted for the National Book Award; and Little River: New & Selected Poems (2000). McCarriston has been praised for the careful way her poems uncover politics in personal experience. In an interview with TriQuarterly, McCarriston stated: “Language is the mind’s turf. Ideas are the mind’s meat. Though literature’s impact is taken to be emotional, it resonates because its means are cognitive and its encounter with familiar ideas provocative.” In a review of Little River, Kirkus Reviews observed that McCarriston “takes the time to consider the position of things, developing countless evocative scenes detailing the over, under, and through of living.”
Featured on Bill Moyers’s PBS Series The Language of Life, McCarriston has received many honors for her work, including two fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, two fellowships from the Vermont State Council on the Arts, the Grolier Prize, Poetry’s Consuelo Ford Prize, and a Bunting (now Radcliffe) Institute fellowship. She teaches in the University of Alaska Anchorage low-residency MFA program and lives in Maine.