Geneva, New York
|Literary movement||New Formalism|
William Baer (born 1948) is an award-winning American poet, non-fiction writer, editor, translator, and academic. The author of 16 books, he is a former Fulbright (Portugal) and a Guggenheim fellow, as well as the recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts creative writing grant.
Baer was born in Geneva, New York, and raised in the Bronx and Wayne, New Jersey. He is a graduate of Rutgers (B.A. English) and New York University (M.A. English). He completed his doctoral dissertation in English at the University of South Carolina under the direction of James Dickey, and then attended the Johns Hopkins' Writing Seminars (M.A. Creative Writing) where he studied with John Barth and David St. John. He later attended the University of Southern California's Graduate School of Cinema (M.A. Cinema) where he received the Jack Nicholson Screenwriting Award.
Baer is the author of 5 books of poetry, including The Unfortunates, recipient of the T.S. Eliot Poetry Prize, and Borges, and other sonnets, recipient of the X.J. Kennedy Poetry Prize. His other books include a translation from the Portuguese, Luís de Camões: Selected sonnets; a textbook, Writing Metrical Poetry; and 4 collections of interviews, including Classic American Films: Conversations with the screenwriters.
In 1989, Baer was the Founding Editor of The Formalist (1990–2004), a small poetry journal which played a significant role in the Formalist poetry revival (New Formalism) and published the work of 7 Nobel Prize and 15 Pulitzer Prize recipients. He is also the former poetry editor and film critic for Crisis Magazine.
He serves as the founding director of the St. Robert Southwell Institute, the director of the University of Evansville Press, the contributing editor at Measure, the faculty director of The Evansville Review, and the director of the Richard Wilbur Poetry Series, the Howard Nemerov Sonnet Award, and the Willis Barnstone Translation Prize.
As a playwright, Baer's full-length plays (The Amistad Case, Guiteau, and Lighthouse, recipient of the James H. Wilson Playwriting Award) as well as his shorter plays have been produced at numerous American theaters, including the Dayton Playhouse in Dayton, Ohio; Acrosstown Repertory Theatre in Gainesville, Florida; the Florence Little Theatre in Florence, South Carolina; Playwrights' Circle in Palm Springs, California; the Fells Point Theater in Baltimore, Maryland; the Edward Albee Last Frontier Theater Conference in Valdez, Alaska; the Metropolitan Playhouse of New York in New York City; the Camino Real Playhouse in San Juan Capistrano, California (awarded "Best Play in the Festival"); Emerging Artists Theatre in New York City; the Chicago Dramatists Theatre in Chicago; Masker's Theater, Belfast, Maine; and the St. Tammany One-Act Play Festival in Covington, LA.
- Guggenheim Fellowship (Translation), 2007–2008
- X.J. Kennedy Poetry Prize, 2007, for Borges, and other sonnets
- Melvin M. Peterson Chair in English and American Literature, 2006-
- James H. Wilson Playwriting Award, 1999
- T.S. Eliot Prize in Poetry, 1997, for The Unfortunates
- National Endowment for the Arts Creative Writing Fellowship in Fiction, 1995
- Jack Nicholson Screenwriting Award, Division of Cinema, U.S.C. 1986
- Fulbright Lectureship in American Literature, Portugal, 1981–1982
- The Unfortunates: Poems.. Kirksville, MO: New Odyssey Press, 1997.
- Borges, and other sonnets. Kirksville, MO: Truman State University Press, 2003.
- The Ballad Rode into Town: Poems. Cincinnati, OH: Turning Point, 2007.
- "Bocage", and other sonnets. Huntsville, TX: Texas Review Press, 2008.
- Psalter: A sequence of Catholic sonnets. Kirksville, MO: Truman State University Press, 2011.
- The Amistad Case. Venice, FL: Eldridge, 1998. (.PDF)
- The Heretic: A novel. Baltimore, MD: PublishAmerica, 2004.
- Conversations with Derek Walcott. Jackson, MI: University Press of Mississippi, 1996.
- Elia Kazan: Interviews. Jackson, MI: University Press of Mississippi, 2000.
- Fourteen on Form: Conversations with poets. Jackson, MI: University Press of Mississippi, 2004.
- Writing Metrical Poetry: Contemporary lessons for mastering traditional forms. Cincinnati, OH: Writer's Digest Books, 2006.
- Classic American Films: Conversations with the screenwriters. Westport, CT: Praeger, 2007.
- Luís de Camões: Selected sonnets. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2005.
- Sonnets: 150 contemporary sonnets. Evansville, IN: University of Evansville Press, 2005.
- The Conservative Poets: A contemporary anthology. Evansville, IN: University of Evansville Press, 2006.
- Rhyming Poems: A contemporary anthology. Evansville, IN: University of Evansville Press, 2007.
- Jeffrey Hart, "Morning Star," National Review, June 28, 2004
- "Tenth Anniversary Comments," The Formalist, Volume 11, Issue 1, 2000
- Paul Galloway, "A New Journal Asserts," Chicago Tribune, March 23, 1990
- William Baer at Writer's Almanac (3 poems)
- William Baer b.1948 at the Poetry Foundation
- Audio / video
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