Anne Carson Canadian poet, essayist, translator, classicist, and professor.(born June 21, 1950) is a
|Born||June 21, 1950|
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Trained at the University of Toronto, Carson has taught Classics, comparative literature, and creative writing at universities across the US and Canada since 1979, including McGill, Michigan, NYU, and Princeton.
Publishing more than twenty books of writings and translations to date, Carson was awarded Guggenheim and MacArthur Fellowships, has won the Lannan Literary Award, two Griffin Poetry Prizes, the T. S. Eliot Prize, and the Princess of Asturias Award, and was appointed a Member of the Order of Canada in 2005 for her contribution to Canadian letters.
Life and workEdit
In high school, a Latin instructor introduced Carson to the world and language of Ancient Greece and tutored her privately. Enrolling at St. Michael's College at the University of Toronto, she left twice—at the end of her first and second years. Carson, disconcerted by curricular constraints (particularly by a required course on Milton), retired to the world of graphic arts for a short time. She did eventually return to the University of Toronto where she completed her B.A. in 1974, her M.A. in 1975, and her Ph.D. in 1981. She also spent a year studying Greek metrics and Greek textual criticism at the University of St Andrews.
Trained as a classicist, and with an interest in comparative literature, anthropology, history, and the arts, Carson fuses ideas and themes from many fields in her writing. She frequently references, modernises, and translates Ancient Greek and Latin literature – writers such as Aeschylus, Catullus, Euripides, Homer, Ibycus, Mimnermus, Sappho, Simonides, Sophocles, Stesichorus, and Thucydides. She is also influenced by, and references more modern writers and thinkers, such as Emily Brontë, Paul Celan, Emily Dickinson, Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel, Friedrich Hölderlin, Franz Kafka, John Keats, Gertrude Stein, Simone Weil, and Virginia Woolf. Many of her books blend the forms of poetry, essay, prose, criticism, translation, dramatic dialogue, fiction, and non-fiction to varying degrees.
First editions of Carson's sixteen books of writings (as of 2019) have been published by Alfred A. Knopf, New Directions, and the Princeton University Press in the US, by Brick Books and McClelland & Stewart in Canada, and by Bloodaxe Books, Jonathan Cape, Oberon Books, and Sylph Editions in the UK.
Eros the Bittersweet – Carson's first book of criticism, published in 1986 – examines eros as a simultaneous experience of pleasure and pain best exemplified by "glukupikron", a word of Sappho's creation and the "bittersweet" of the book's title. It considers how triangulations of desire appear in the writings of Sappho, ancient Greek novelists, and Plato. A reworking of her 1981 doctoral thesis Odi et Amo Ergo Sum ("I Hate and I Love, Therefore I Am"), Eros the Bittersweet "laid the groundwork for her subsequent publications, […] formulating the ideas on desire that would come to dominate her poetic output", and establishing her "style of patterning her writings after classical Greek literature".
Carson delivered a series of "short talks", or short-format poems on various subjects, at the address to the University of Toronto Ph.D. graduating class of 2012. She also participated in the Bush Theatre's project Sixty Six Books in 2011, writing a piece titled "Jude: The Goat at Midnight" based on the Epistle of Jude from the King James Bible.
Carson’s first book of poetry – 1984’s Canicula di Anna – garnered her first literary prize: the Quarterly Review of Literature Betty Colladay Award. Acclaim for her first book of essays, Eros the Bittersweet, grew in the fifteen years after it was published in 1986: the book "first stunned the classics community as a work of Greek scholarship; then it stunned the nonfiction community as an inspired return to the lyrically based essays once produced by Seneca, Montaigne, and Emerson; and then, and only then, deep into the 1990s, reissued as 'literature' and redesigned for an entirely new audience, it finally stunned the poets." By the turn of the millennium, Eros the Bittersweet had also entered into the popular consciousness, voted onto the 1999 Modern Library Reader's List for the 100 Best Nonfiction books of the 20th century, and mentioned (along with Autobiography of Red) in a 2004 episode of the television series The L Word.
Early recognition for her work also came from the Quebec Writers' Federation Awards (known as "QSPELL" until 1998), which shortlisted Carson for Short Talks in 1993 before going on to award her the honour three times between 1996 and 2001 (for Glass, Irony, and God, Autobiography of Red, and The Beauty of the Husband). Carson’s early publications brought her the 1996 Lannan Literary Award for Poetry, and the 1997 Pushcart Prize for her poem "Jaget". In 1997, Carson was awarded a Rockefeller Bellagio Center Fellowship, followed by a Guggenheim Fellowship for Poetry in 1998, and a MacArthur Fellowship (commonly known as the "Genius Grant") in 2000.
The National Book Critics Circle Award shortlisted Carson three times (for Autobiography of Red in 1998, Men in the Off Hours in 2000, and Nox in 2010), making her and Alice Munro the first two non-Americans to be nominated after the Award went global in 1998. She was also shortlisted for the Forward Prize in 1998 for Glass and God, her first book of poetry published in the UK. Shortlisted for the T. S. Eliot Prize four times between 1999 and 2013, Carson won for The Beauty of the Husband in 2001 (her third consecutive nomination), making her the first woman to be awarded this honour. Carson was the first poet to be awarded the Griffin Poetry Prize (for Men in the Off Hours in 2001), and the first to win the prize for a second time (for Red Doc> in 2013). She was also a judge for the 2010 Griffin Poetry Prize.
Carson was appointed a Member of the Order of Canada in 2005, the announcement describing her as “a singular voice in the literature of our country”. She was awarded an honorary degree by her alma mater, the University of Toronto, in 2012. She also received an honorary degree of Doctor of Letters in 2014 from the University of St Andrews, where she studied for a diploma with Kenneth Dover in 1975–1976. In 2020, Carson was awarded the Princess of Asturias Award for Literature, with the jury noting that she "has attained levels of intensity and intellectual standing that place her among the most outstanding of present-day writers".
In recent years, Carson has been regarded as a likely candidate for the Nobel Prize in Literature, alongside such writers as Margaret Atwood, Maryse Condé, Haruki Murakami, Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o, Lyudmila Ulitskaya, and Can Xue.
Carson has published translations of ten ancient Greek tragedies – one by Aeschylus (Agamemnon), two by Sophocles (Antigone, Electra), and seven by Euripides (Alcestis, Hecuba, Herakles, Hippolytus, Iphigenia in Tauris, Orestes, and The Bacchae) – as well as the poetry of Sappho in English.
First editions of Carson’s seven books of translations have been published by Alfred A. Knopf, Farrar, Straus and Giroux, the New York Review of Books, and the University of Chicago Press in the US, and by Oberon Books and the Oxford University Press in the UK.
Carson was a Rockefeller Scholar-in-Residence at the 92nd Street Y (New York City) from August 1986 to August 1987, where she worked on a translation of Sophocles' Electra. It was eventually published in 2001 and included in her 2009 book An Oresteia, which won the PEN Award for Poetry in Translation in 2010. Featuring Aeschylus' Agamemnon, Sophocles' Electra, and Euripides' Orestes, An Oresteia was staged in New York by the Classic Stage Company in 2009.
Carson was also an Anna-Maria Kellen Fellow at the American Academy in Berlin in 2007, where she worked on a translation of the ancient Greek play Prometheus Bound (attributed to Aeschylus), an excerpt of which was published in 2010.
In 2015, a production of Carson's Antigone directed by Ivo van Hove and starring Juliette Binoche opened at Les Théâtres de la Ville de Luxembourg in 2015 before travelling to cities in Europe and the US, including London (Barbican Centre), New York (BAM), and Paris (Théâtre de la Ville).
Carson began her Classics teaching career at the University of Calgary in 1979, before completing her Ph.D. at the University of Toronto. In 1980, she joined Princeton University, where she taught as Instructor, and later Assistant Professor. She also taught at the 92nd Street Y in New York during her time there as a Rockefeller Scholar in Residence (1986–1987). Failing to make tenure, Carson left Princeton in 1987 to teach classical languages and literature at Emory University in Atlanta for a year, before moving to Montreal to join McGill University as Director of Graduate Studies in Classics.
In the late 1990s, Carson’s teaching career hit a hurdle when McGill cancelled all graduate courses in ancient Greek, closed its Classics Department, and moved all remaining Classics courses to its History Department. While continuing to teach at McGill as Associate Professor, Carson dealt with this by spending half of each year as a guest lecturer at other institutions, including the University of Michigan (Norman Freehling Visiting Professorship, 1999–2000), the University of California, Berkeley (Spring 2000), and the California College of Arts and Crafts in Oakland (Spring 2001). She was appointed John MacNaughton Professor of Classics at McGill in 2000.
Carson moved to Ann Arbor and the University of Michigan in 2003, where she served as Professor of Classical Studies, Comparative Literature, and English Language and Literature until 2009. In 2004, Carson was in contention for the Professor of Poetry Chair at the University of Oxford, placing second behind the eventual appointment Christopher Ricks, with around 30 nominations.
Carson joined the New York University Creative Writing Program as Distinguished Poet-in-Residence and Visiting Professor in 2009. Together with her husband and collaborator Robert Currie, she teaches an annual class at NYU on the art of collaboration, called “Egocircus”. Carson was an Andrew D. White Professor-at-Large at Cornell University from 2010 to 2016, and the Mohr Visiting Poet at Stanford University (Creative Writing Program) in 2013. She joined Bard College as Visiting Distinguished Writer-in-Residence in 2014, teaching classical studies and the written arts. Carson has described her more diverse role in the latter part of her career as “a visiting [whatever]”, and her decades spent teaching ancient Greek as “a total joy”.
Awards and honoursEdit
- Rae, Ian (27 December 2001). "Anne Carson". The Literary Encyclopedia. Retrieved 16 September 2020.
- Ross, Val (23 March 2001). "Alumni: Classic Carson". University of Toronto Magazine. Retrieved 16 September 2020.
- Munoz, Theresa (9 October 2013). "Theresa Munoz and Anne Carson at Cove Park". Scottish Review of Books. Retrieved 16 September 2020.
- Corless-Smith, Martin (2015). "Living on the Edge: The Bittersweet Place of Poetry". In Wilkinson, Joshua Marie (ed.). Anne Carson: Ecstatic Lyre. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press. ISBN 978-0-472-05253-0.
- Scranton, Roy (Spring 2014). "Estranged Pain: Anne Carson's Red Doc>". Contemporary Literature. University of Wisconsin Press. 55 (1): 202–214. doi:10.1353/cli.2014.0010. Retrieved 18 September 2020.
- Carson, Anne (1981). Odi et Amo Ergo Sum. Toronto: University of Toronto. [Doctoral thesis; under the name Anne Carson Giacomelli]
- "Anne Carson". The Poetry Foundation. Retrieved 14 September 2020.
- Au-Yeung, Gavin (12 November 2012). "Celebrating Fall Convocation 2012". University of Toronto. Retrieved 12 September 2020.
- Woddis, Carole (17 October 2011). "Sixty-Six Books, Bush Theatre". The Arts Desk. Retrieved 16 September 2020.
- Carson, Anne (2011). "The Goat at Midnight". In Haydon, Christopher; Holmes, Rachel; Power, Ben; Rourke, Josie (eds.). Sixty-Six Books: 21st Century Writers Speak to the King James Bible. London: Oberon Books. p. 521. ISBN 978-1-84943-227-6.
- Carson, Anne (1984). Weiss, Renée; Weiss, Theodore (eds.). "Canicula di Anna". Quarterly Review of Literature. Contemporary Poetry Series 6. Princeton. 25: 4–39.
- Meyer, Paul (2016). "Foreword". She] ⟨Ha?⟩ She – The Canicula di Anna: A Fractal Approach (PDF). Toronto: University of Toronto. p. 2. Retrieved 26 August 2020.
- Carson, Anne (1996). "Jaget". Chicago Review. 42 (2): 38–41. doi:10.2307/25304108. JSTOR 25304108.
- D'Agata, John (1 June 2000). "Review: Men in the Off Hours". Boston Review. Retrieved 16 September 2020.
- "Modern Library: 100 Best Nonfiction". Modern Library. Retrieved 16 September 2020.
- O'Rourke, Meghan (11 February 2004). "Hermetic Hotties: What is Anne Carson doing on The L Word?". Slate. Retrieved 16 September 2020.
- "The QWF Literary Awards: The A. M. Klein Prize for Poetry". Quebec Writer's Federation. Retrieved 12 September 2020.
- "Anne Carson: 1996 Lannan Literary Award for Poetry". Lannan Foundation. Retrieved 12 September 2020.
- Meyer, Paul (2016). "blue for (On Lecturing in Anne Carson)". She] ⟨Ha?⟩ She – The Canicula di Anna: A Fractal Approach (PDF). Toronto: University of Toronto. p. 211. Retrieved 26 August 2020.
- Carson, Anne (1996). "Jaget". Chicago Review. 42 (2): 38–41. doi:10.2307/25304108. JSTOR 25304108.
- Mullins, Andrew; McDonagh, Patrick (Winter 1997). "A Poet's Life". McGill News: Alumni Quarterly. Montreal: McGill University. Retrieved 20 September 2020.
- "Fellows: Anne Carson". John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation. Retrieved 12 September 2020.
- "MacArthur Fellows Program: Anne Carson, Poet and Classicist". MacArthur Foundation. 1 July 2000. Retrieved 12 September 2012.
- "The National Book Critics Circle Award: 1998 Winners & Finalists". National Book Critics Circle. Retrieved 12 September 2020.
- "The National Book Critics Circle Award: 2000 Winners & Finalists". National Book Critics Circle. Retrieved 12 September 2020.
- "The National Book Critics Circle Award: 2010 Winners & Finalists". National Book Critics Circle. Retrieved 12 September 2020.
- Wolfe, Linda (23 October 2013). "Remembering Alice Munro's National Book Critics Circle Award". National Book Critics Circle. Retrieved 14 September 2020.
- "Forward Prizes Alumni: Shortlists by Year, 1998". Forward Arts Foundation. Retrieved 12 September 2020.
- "About the T. S. Eliot Prize: List of Previous Winners". T. S. Eliot Foundation. Retrieved 12 September 2020.
- Kennedy, Maev (22 January 2002). "Canadian poet becomes first woman to win TS Eliot Prize". The Guardian. Retrieved 13 September 2020.
- "Anne Carson: Griffin Poetry Prize 2001". The Griffin Trust for Excellence in Poetry. Retrieved 12 September 2020.
- "Anne Carson: Griffin Poetry Prize 2014". The Griffin Trust for Excellence in Poetry. Retrieved 12 September 2020.
- "Anne Carson adds second Griffin poetry prize". Calgary Herald. 7 June 2014. Retrieved 13 September 2020.
- "Griffin Poetry Prize: 2010 Judges". The Griffin Trust for Excellence in Poetry. Retrieved 12 September 2020.
- "Order of Canada: Anne Carson, C.M." Governor General of Canada Archives. 29 June 2005. Retrieved 12 September 2020.
- Sweetman, Rebecca (1 December 2014). "Laureation address: Anne Carson". University of St Andrews. Retrieved 22 September 2020.
- "Anne Carson: Princess of Asturias Award for Literature 2020". Fundación Princesa de Asturias. Retrieved 18 June 2020.
- Ahlander, Johan (7 October 2019). "Moving on from scandal, Swedish Academy to award two Nobel literature prizes". Reuters. Retrieved 14 September 2020.
- Haynes, Suyin (9 October 2019). "Last Year's Nobel Prize in Literature Was Canceled Over Scandal and Conflict. Can 2019's Award Mark a Comeback?". Time. Retrieved 14 September 2020.
- Shephard, Alex (9 October 2019). "Who Will Win the 2019 (or the 2018!) Nobel Prize in Literature?". The New Republic. Retrieved 14 September 2020.
- Henley, Jon (10 October 2019). "Two Nobel literature prizes to be awarded after sexual assault scandal". The Guardian. Retrieved 14 September 2020.
- Meyer, Paul (2016). "blue for (On Lecturing in Anne Carson)". She] ⟨Ha?⟩ She – The Canicula di Anna: A Fractal Approach (PDF). Toronto: University of Toronto. p. 192. Retrieved 26 August 2020.
- Carson, Anne (2001). Sophocles, Electra. Oxford & New York: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-504960-8.
- — (2009). An Oresteia. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux. ISBN 978-0-86547-916-6.
- "2010 PEN Award for Poetry in Translation". PEN America. 16 November 2012. Retrieved 12 September 2020.
- "An Oresteia". Classic Stage Company. Retrieved 15 September 2020.
- "Fellows & Distinguished Visitors: Anne Carson (Class of Fall 2007)". The American Academy in Berlin: Hans Arnhold Center. Retrieved 12 September 2020.
- Carson, Anne (June 2010). "Prometheus Bound: An Excerpt from the Play by Aischylos". The Wolf (23): 6–7.
- Carson, Anne (2015). Sophokles, Antigone. London: Oberon Books. ISBN 978-1-78319-810-8.
- "Antigone". Toneelgroep Amsterdam. Retrieved 15 September 2020.
- Meyer, Paul (2016). "blue for (On Metonymns in Anne Carson)". She] ⟨Ha?⟩ She – The Canicula di Anna: A Fractal Approach (PDF). Toronto: University of Toronto. p. 163. Retrieved 26 August 2020.
While at Princeton Anne Carson taught (as Instructor and later Assistant Professor) the following courses: The Anti-Augustans: Ovid and the Elegists; Introduction to Augustan Literature; Beginner’s Latin Continued: Basic Prose; The Lyric Age of Greece; and Greek Drama in Translation.
- Bloom, Harold; Lehman, David, eds. (1998). The Best of the Best American Poetry 1988-1997. New York: Scribner Poetry. p. 307. ISBN 0-684-84779-5. Retrieved 17 July 2020.
- Rae, Ian (Autumn 2010). "Runaway Classicists: Anne Carson and Alice Munro's 'Juliet' Stories". Journal of the Short Story in English. Presses universities d'Angers (55 – Special Issue: The Short Stories of Alice Munro): 5. ISSN 1969-6108. Retrieved 18 September 2020.
- "Institute for the Humanities: Norman Freehling Visiting Professorship". University of Michigan. Retrieved 20 September 2020.
- "Biography of Anne Carson". Brick Books. Retrieved 20 September 2020.
- "Faculty History Project: Anne Carson". Millennium Project, University of Michigan. Retrieved 20 September 2020.
- Curtis, Polly (30 April 2004). "Oxford names poetry professor shortlist". The Guardian. Retrieved 20 September 2020.
- Polner, Robert (24 November 2009). "NYU Creative Writing Program Presents New Interactive Performance by Anne Carson, Dec. 10". New York University. Retrieved 20 September 2020.
- Anderson, Sam (14 March 2013). "The Inscrutable Brilliance of Anne Carson". The New York Times Magazine. Retrieved 20 September 2020.
- "All Professors-at-Large – 1965 to June 30, 2025". Program for Andrew D. White Professors-at-Large. Cornell University. Retrieved 20 September 2020.
- "A Reading by Anne Carson, The Mohr Visiting Poet". Stanford: Event Calendar. Stanford University. 23 April 2013. Retrieved 20 September 2020.
- Primoff, Mark (29 April 2014). "Esteemed Writer Anne Carson To Join Bard College Faculty". Annandale-on-Hudson, New York: Bard College. Retrieved 20 September 2020.
- Guccione, Jean (28 April 2002). "10 Authors Honored With Times Book Prizes". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 12 September 2020.
- "The 2012 Prize". The London Hellenic Prize. Retrieved 12 September 2020.
- "Anne Carson wins 2016 Blue Metropolis Literary Grand Prix". Azure Scratchings. Blue Metropolis Literary Festival & Foundation. 23 March 2016. Retrieved 12 September 2020.
- "Anne Carson gana el Premio Internacional Manuel Acuña 2019". Aristegui Noticias (in Spanish). 23 December 2019. Retrieved 14 September 2020.
- Glover, Douglas, ed. (1993). The Journey Prize Anthology 6: Short Fiction from the Best of Canada's New Writers. Toronto: McClelland & Stewart. ISBN 978-0771003141.
- Potts, Robert (15 January 2000). "Best in the Language". The Guardian. Retrieved 12 September 2020.
- Gibbons, Fiachra (23 January 2001). "Sun shines again on poet Longley". The Guardian. Retrieved 12 September 2020.
- "Governor General's Literary Awards: Past Winners and Finalists". Governor General’s Literary Awards. Canada Council for the Arts. Retrieved 12 September 2020.
- "Madeline DeFrees Receives 2002 Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize". The Academy of American Poets. 19 October 2002. Retrieved 14 September 2020.
- "T. S. Eliot poetry prize shortlist announced". BBC News. 24 October 2013. Retrieved 12 September 2020.
- "The 2014 Folio Prize Shortlist is Announced". The Folio Prize. 10 February 2014. Archived from the original on 2 March 2014. Retrieved 13 February 2014.
- "Creative Scotland / Cove Park Muriel Spark Fellowship: Anne Carson". Cove Park. Retrieved 16 September 2020.
- "Anne Carson (In Residence: Inga Maren Otto Fellow)". The Watermill Center. Retrieved 12 September 2020.
- Bloom, Harold; Lehman, David, eds. (1998). "Anne Carson". The Best of the Best American Poetry 1988-1997. New York: Scribner Poetry. p. 307. ISBN 0-684-84779-5. Retrieved 17 July 2020.
- "Member Directory: Ms. Anne Carson". American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Retrieved 14 September 2020.
- "Members: Anne Carson". American Academy of Arts and Letters. Retrieved 14 September 2020.
- Carson, Anne (1986). Eros the Bittersweet: An Essay. Princeton: Princeton University Press. ISBN 9780608027401.
- — (1992). Short Talks. London, Ontario: Brick Books. ISBN 978-1-77131-342-1.
- — (1995). Glass, Irony, and God. New York: New Directions. ISBN 978-0-8112-1302-8.
- — (1995). Plainwater: Essays and Poetry. New York: Alfred A. Knopf. ISBN 0-679-43178-0.
- — (1998). Autobiography of Red: A Novel in Verse. New York: Alfred A. Knopf. ISBN 0-375-40133-4.
- — (1999). Economy of the Unlost (Reading Simonides of Keos with Paul Celan). Princeton: Princeton University Press. ISBN 0-691-03677-2.
- — (2000). Men in the Off Hours. New York: Alfred A. Knopf. ISBN 978-0-375-40803-8.
- — (2001). The Beauty of the Husband: A Fictional Essay in 29 Tangos. New York: Alfred A. Knopf. ISBN 9780375408045.
- — (2005). Decreation: Poetry, Essays, Opera. New York: Alfred A. Knopf. ISBN 978-1-4000-4349-1.
- — (2010). Nox. New York: New Directions. ISBN 978-0-8112-1870-2.
- — (2012). Antigonick (Sophokles). New York: New Directions. ISBN 9780811219570.
- — (2013). Red Doc>. New York: Alfred A. Knopf. ISBN 9780307960597.
- — (2013). Nay Rather. London: Sylph Editions (with the Center for Writers and Translators at the American University of Paris); The Cahiers Series, Number 21. ISBN 978-1-90963103-8.
- — (2014). The Albertine Workout. New York: New Directions [Poetry Pamphlet #13]. ISBN 978-0-8112-2317-1.
- — (2016). Float. New York: Alfred A. Knopf. ISBN 978-1-101-94684-8.
- — (2019). Norma Jeane Baker of Troy. London: Oberon Books. ISBN 9781786827616.
- — (2002). If Not, Winter: Fragments of Sappho. New York: Alfred A. Knopf. ISBN 978-0-375-41067-3.
- — (2006). Grief Lessons: Four Plays by Euripides. New York: The New York Review of Books. ISBN 1-59017-180-2.
- — (2014). Euripides, Iphigenia Among the Taurians. Chicago & London: The University of Chicago Press. ISBN 978-0-226-20362-1.
- — (2015). Euripides, Bakkhai. London: Oberon Books. ISBN 978-1-78319-915-0.