Kay Ryan, United States Poet Laureate and Pulitzer Prize winner, was born in California in 1945 and grew up in the small towns of the San Joaquin Valley and the Mojave Desert. Since 1971, she has lived in Marin County in Northern California.
About her work, J.D. McClatchy has said: "Her poems are compact, exhilarating, strange affairs, like Erik Satie miniatures or Joseph Cornell boxes. She is an anomaly in today's literary culture: as intense and elliptical as Dickinson, as buoyant and rueful as Frost."Ryan's poems and essays have appeared in The New Yorker, The Atlantic, Poetry, The Yale Review, Paris Review, The American Scholar, The Threepenny Review, Parnassus, among other journals and anthologies. Ryan was elected a Chancellor of The Academy of American Poets in 2006. In 2008, Ryan was appointed the Library of Congress's sixteenth Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry.
Her poems have been included in three Pushcart Prize anthologies (1997, 1998, 2004) and have been selected four times for The Best American Poetry (1999, 2005, 2006). In 2011 Ryan was listed as a finalist for the 2011 National Book Critics Circle Award.
- 2011 - MacArthur Foundation Fellows Program “Genius” Grant
- 2011 - Pulitzer Prize for Poetry
- 2004 - Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize
- 2004 - Guggenheim Fellowship
- 2001 - National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship
- 2001 - Maurice English Poetry Award
- 2000 - Union League Poetry Prize
- 1995 - Ingram Merrill Award
- 1988-1997 - The Best of the Best American Poetry