Ron Padgett

Ron Padgett

About Ron Padgett

Ron Padgett is an American poet, essayist, fiction writer, translator, and a member of the New York School. Great Balls of Fire, Padgett's first full-length collection of poems, was published in 1969. He won a 2009 Shelley Memorial Award. In 2018, he won the Frost Medal from the Poetry Society of America. Padgett is the author of more than 20 poetry collections, including Great Balls of Fire (1969, reissued 1990); You Never Know (2001); How to Be Perfect (2007); How Long (2011); and Collected Poems (2013). Seven of Padgett's poems are featured in Jim Jarmusch's 2016 film Paterson, including three written expressly for the film. Like Padgett, Jarmusch studied poetry under Kenneth Koch at Columbia University.
Padgett collaborated with poet Ted Berrigan and artists Jim Dine, George Schneeman, Bertrand Dorny, Trevor Winkfield, and Alex Katz, along with Joe Brainard. Padgett is also the author of nonfiction works, including Blood Work: Selected Prose (1993), Ted: A Personal Memoir of Ted Berrigan (1993), Creative Reading (1997), and The Straight Line: Writing on Poetry and Poets (2000), Oklahoma Tough: My Father, King of the Tulsa Bootleggers (2003), and Joe: A Memoir of Joe Brainard (2004). Padgett’s novella Motor Maids across the Continent appeared in 2017 from Song Cave. His numerous works on education and writing include The Teachers & Writers Handbook of Poetic Forms (editor), The Teachers & Writers Guide to Walt Whitman (editor), and Educating the Imagination (co-editor). He was also the editor of the three-volume reference work, World Poets (2000).
Padgett also translated French poets Blaise Cendrars, Max Jacob, Pierre Reverdy, Valery Larbaud, and Guillaume Apollinaire. Book-length collections of his own work have been translated into French, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, Faroese, German, Finnish, Norwegian, and Italian.

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