James Merrill once called his poetic works 'chronicles of love and loss', and in twenty books written over four decades he used the details of his life - comic and haunting, exotic and domestic - to shape a compelling, sometimes intensely moving, personal portrait. Sophisticated, witty and ironic, his poetry also engages passionately with topical issues - war, terrorism, political corruption, AIDS, climate change and the destruction of nature. An admirer of Wallace Stevens, Elizabeth Bishop and W. H. Auden, Merrill, like them, has left a legacy that will speak to readers for years to come.
JAMES MERRILL (1926-1995) wrote twelve books of poems, as well as the epic poem "The Changing Light at Sandover." He published two plays, two novels, and a memoir, "A Different Person." The recipient of numerous awards for his poetry, including two National Book Awards, the Bollingen Prize, the Pulitzer Prize, and the Bobbitt Prize from the Library of Congress, Merrill was also a chancellor of the Academy of American Poets and a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters.