Alice Notley


Alice Notley is an American poet who was born in Bisbee, Arizona, in 1945 and grew up in Needles, California. She received a BA from Barnard College in 1967 and an MFA from the Writers’ Workshop at the University of Iowa in 1969. She married poet Ted Berrigan in 1972, with whom she was active in the Chicago poetry scene and with whom she had two sons. In the early 70s she became rooted in New York’s Lower East Side, where she was an important force from 1976 through 1992. After Berrigan died in 1983, Notley raised their two sons in New York’s East Village by herself for several years while continuing to develop her poetry. In 1992, she moved to Paris with her second husband, the British poet Douglas Oliver (1937-2000). She is the recipient of various prizes and awards, including the Los Angeles Times Book Award (for Mysteries of Small Houses, which was also a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize), the Griffin Prize (for Disobedience), the Academy of American Poets’ Lenore Marshall Prize (for Grave of Light, Selected Poems 1970-2005), and the Poetry Foundation’s Ruth Lilly Prize, a lifetime achievement award. She is also a collagiste and cover artist. Above all she is a full-time poet, at this point an internationalist and haunter of Paris, remaining an American, an ex-New-Yorker, and a desert denizen. She is the author of over twenty five books of poetry, including Reason and Other Women (Chax Press, 2010), Negativity’s Kiss (Presses Universitaires de Rouen, 2014), Manhattan Luck (Hearts Desire Press, 2014), Benediction (Letter Machine Editions, 2015), Eurynome’s Sandals (Presses Universitaires de Rouen, 2019). Her most recent book is Certain Magical Acts, from Penguin.

From Our Catalog

Close to me & Closer… (The Language of Heaven) and Désamère
By Alice Notley

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