Skip to main content

Rae Armantrout

M.A. (San Francisco State)

Professor Emerita of Writing

Quarterly Office Hours


2010 Pulitzer Prize Winner - Poetry for Versed
Guggenheim Fellow
Recipient of National Book Critics Circle Award

Guggenheim Fellow in Poetry (2008), Rae Armantrout is a native Californian whose poems are masterful contradictions; according to Robert Creeley, her poems have "a quiet and enabling signature."He adds," I don’t think there’s another poet writing who is so consummate in authority and yet so generous to her readers and company alike." She has taught writing at UCSD for over two decades. Her poems are telegenically "regional" filled with bungalows, newscasters and swimming pools yet they ring with an immaterial clarity that quietly subsumes her readers and listeners in a radical and eerily funny vision.

Rae Armantrout came up as a poet in the Bay Area, educated at UC Berkeley (AB, 1970), where she studied with Denise Levertov, and San Francisco State (MA, 1975). Subsequently, she was at the center of the first generation of Language Poets, the group in the US most often credited with introducing poetry to postmodernity. Since then Rae Armantrout has forged a growing international reputation--publishing 10 remarkable books of poems, most recently Versed (Wesleyan, 2009), which was nominated October 14, 2009 for the National Book Award in Poetry by the National Book Foundation; Next Life (Wesleyan, 2007) Up to Speed (Wesleyan, 2004) and Veil: New and Selected Poems (Wesleyan, 2001), as well as countless poems anthologized: Best American Poetry 2002, 2005, 2007, and 2009; , American Hybrid (Norton, 2009); Poems of the Women's Movement (Library of American, 2009); The Oxford Book of American Poetry (2006); and Postmodern American Poetry, a Norton Anthology 1994 as well gathered in diverse journals such as The New Yorker (August 2009), Poetry (June 2008), Conjunctions, Partisan Review, and the LA Times. In 2000, A Wild Salience, a collection of critical writings on the work of Rae Armantrout, was published (Burning Deck). She directed the New Writing Series at UCSD for nearly two decades, and co-organized the Page Mother’s Conference in 1999.

Selected Publications:

The Ether, The New Yorker, May 22, 2006.

Two poems - Traveling Through the Dark, and Articulation, The Oxford Book of American Poetry (New York: Oxford U. Press, 2006), ed. David Lehman.

Next Life, Wesleyan, 2007.

Versed, Wesleyan, 2009.

Recurrencias Antologia personal, trans. David Ojeda, Ediciones sin nombre, 2013