Frank Bidart in 2013. Photo by Wendy Wellesley. Licensed under Creative Commons, courtesy Wikimedia Commons.

Frank L. Bidart (born May 27, 1939) is a Pulitzer Prize-winning American poet and academic.


Bidart was born in Bakesfield, California. In 1957, he began to study at the University of California at Riverside and went on to Harvard, where he was a student and friend of Robert Lowell and Elizabeth Bishop. He began studying with Lowell and Reuben Brower in 1962.[1]

Bidart is Andrew W. Mellon professor in the humanities at Wellesley College.[2] He has taught English at Wellesley since 1972, including courses such as Modern Poetry. He has also taught at nearby Brandeis University.

He is openly gay.[3][4]


His 1997 book Desire received the Theodore Roethke Memorial Poetry Prize and the 1998 Bobbitt Prize for Poetry; and was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize, the National Book Award, and the National Book Critics Circle Award.

His chapbook, Music Like Dirt (later included in the collection Star Dust) is the only poetry chapbook to ever be nominated for the Pulitzer Prize.

Bidart was the 2007 winner of Yale University’s Bollingen Prize in American Poetry.

He was awarded the 2018 Pulitzer Prize in Poetry for Half-Light: Collected poems.[5]




  • Golden State. New York: Brazilier, 1973.
  • The Book of the Body. New York: Farrar, Straus, & Giroux, 1977.
  • The Sacrifice. New York: New York: Random House, 1983.
  • In the Western Night: Collected poems, 1965–90. New York: Farrar, Straus, & Giroux, 1990.
  • Desire. New York: Farrar, Straus, & Giroux, 1997.
  • Music Like Dirt. Louisville, KY: Sarabande Books, 2002.
  • Star Dust (poems). , in two sections. New York: Farrar, Straus, & Giroux, 1997
  • Watching the Spring Festival. New York: Farrar, Straus, & Giroux, 2008.
  • Metaphysical Dog. New York: Farrar, Straus, & Giroux, 2013.


Except where noted, bibliographical information courtesy the Poetry Foundation.[7]

Frank Bidart reads three poems

Frank Bidart reads three poems

See alsoEdit


  • Rae Armantrout; John Ashbery; et al. (2002). The Best American Poetry 2002. Scribner Poetry. ISBN 0-7432-0386-0. 


  1. "Frank Bidart", biography,, retrieved 5 January 2007 
  2. Frank L. Bidart, Wellesley College. Web, May 3, 2014.
  3. Yuan, Jada (24 April 2009), "James Franco’s Anti-Self", New York Magazine,, retrieved 16 April 2010 
  4. Hennessy, Christopher (2005), "Introduction", Outside the lines: talking with contemporary gay poets, University of Michigan Press, ISBN 0472068733 
  5. 2018 Pulitzer Prizes, The Pulitzer Prizes. Web, Sep. 19, 2018.
  6. "Book of Members, 1780–2010: Chapter B". American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Retrieved June 25, 2011. 
  7. Frank Bidart b. 1939, Poetry Foundation, Web, May 3, 2014.

External linksEdit

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