Willis Barnstone, GPC 2011-2012
Willis Barnstone, born in Lewiston, Maine, and educated at Bowdoin, the Sorbonne, SOAS, Columbia and Yale, taught in Greece at the end of the civil war (1949-51), in Buenos Aires during the Dirty War, and during the Cultural Revolution he went to China where he was later a Fulbright Professor at Beijing Foreign Studies University (1984-1985). Former O’Connor Professor of Greek at Colgate University, he is Distinguished Professor Emeritus of English Literature and Spanish at Indiana University. He divides his time between Bloomington, Indiana, and Oakland, California.
His publications include Poems of Exchange (L’Institut Français d’Athènes, 1951), Modern European Poetry (Bantam, 1967), The Other Bible (Harper Collins, 1984), Poetics of Translation: History, Theory, Practice (Yale, 1993), Funny Ways of Staying Alive (New England, 1993), The Secret Reader: 501 Sonnets (New England, 1996), With Borges on an Ordinary Evening in Buenos Aires (Illinois,1993), Algebra of Night: Selected Poems 1948-1998 (Sheep Meadow, 1999), The Apocalypse (New Directions, 2000), Border of a Dream: Poems of Antonio Machado (Copper Canyon, 2003), The Gnostic Bible (Shambhala,2003), and The Poems of Jesus Christ (Norton, 2012). His literary translation of The New Covenant: The Four Gospels and Apocalypse (Riverhead, 2002) was an April Book of the Month selection.
A Guggenheim fellow, he has been the recipient of many awards over the years, including NEA and NEH grants, the Emily Dickinson Award from the Poetry Society of America, the W. H. Auden Award of the New York State Council on the Arts, the Midland Authors Award,and four Book of the Month selections. His work has appeared in magazines including APR, Doubletake, Harper’s,New York Review of Books, Paris Review, Poetry, The New Yorker and The Times Literary Supplement.