Mark Strand

Mark Strand, United States Poet Laureate (1990-91), resided in Utah during his tenure as Professor of English at the University of Utah from 1981 to 1993. Born in Canada on April 11, 1934, Strand was raised in various cities across the United States, as well in Colombia, Mexico, and Peru. As a young adult, Strand’s initial interest was in the visual arts, leading him to study painting at Antioch college (BA, 1957) and Yale University (BFA, 1959), where he studied under the painter Josef Albers. While at Yale, Strand’s interest in painting transitioned to a focus on poetry and resulted in him going to Italy on a Fulbright Scholarship to study 19thCentury Italian Poetry. He then attended the Iowa Writer’s Workshop at the University of Iowa, earning his MFA in 1962, before continuing on to a teaching career that spanned six decades at various acclaimed universities, including Princeton, Columbia, Harvard, Yale, John Hopkins, Brandeis and others.

Strand published a handful of poetry collections between 1968 and 1980, including Sleeping with One Eye Open (1964), Reasons for Moving (1968), Darker (1970), The Story of our Lives (1973), The Late Hour (1978), and Selected Poems (1980). From 1980 to 1990 he took a break from writing poetry, admitting in a 1995 interview in Ploughshares, “I gave up [writing poems] that year. I didn't like what I was writing, I didn't believe in my autobiographical poems." He spent the next decade writing children’s books, translations, fiction, and art criticism, finally returning to poetry in 1990 with the publication of The Continuous Life—the same year he was appointed United States Poet Laureate. One of the most significant American poets of the 20th century, Strand returned to visual art in his later life, primarily focusing on abstract collages. 

Mark Strand’s many honors included the Bollingen Prize, three grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, a Pulitzer, a National Institute of Arts and Letters Award, a Rockefeller Foundation Award, and fellowships from the MacArthur Foundation, the Academy of American Poets, and the Ingram Merrill Foundation. 

Mark Strand died November 29, 2014 at the age of 80.




Sleeping with One Eye Open, Stone Wall Press (Iowa City, IA), 1964

 Reasons for Moving: Poems, Atheneum (New York, NY), 1968

Darker: Poems, including "The New Poetry Handbook", Atheneum (New York, NY),1970

The Story of Our Lives, Atheneum (New York, NY), 1973

The Sargentville Notebook, Burning Deck, Alfred A. Knopf (New York, NY),1973

From Two Notebooks, No Mountains Poetry Project (Evanston, IL), 1975 

My Son, No Mountains Poetry Project (Evanston, IL), 1976

Elegy for My Father, Windhover (Belton, TX), 1978

The Late Hour, Atheneum (New York, NY), 1978

Selected Poems, including "Keeping Things Whole", Atheneum (New York, NY), 1980

The Continuous Life, Knopf (New York, NY), 1990

Selected Poems, Knopf publishing Group,( New York, NY), 1990

The Monument, Ecco Press (New York, NY), 1991

Dark Harbor: A Poem, Knopf (New York , NY), 1993

Blizzard of One: Poems, Knopf (New York, NY), 1998

Chicken, Shadow, Moon & More, Turtle Point Press (New York,NY), 1999

“89 clouds”, ACA Galleries (New York) 1999

Man and Camel, Knop (New York, NY), 2006

New Selected Poems, Knopf (New York, NY), 2007

Almost Invisible, Random House, (New York, NY), 2012

Collected Poems, Knopf (New York, NY), 2014



The Planet of Lost Things, Hodder & Stoughton (London, United Kingdom), 1982

The Art of the Real, Clarkson N Potter (New York, NY), 1983

The Night Book, Crown Publishing Group, (New York, NY), 1985

 Mr. and Mrs. Baby and Other Stories, Knopf (New York, NY), 1985

 Rembrandt Takes a Walk, Clarkson N Potter (New York, NY), 1986

 William Bailey, Harry N. Abrams (New York, NY), 1987

 Hopper, Ecco Press (New York, NY), 1994 

 The Weather of Words: Poetic Invention, Knopf (New York, NY), 2000

 The Making of a Poem: A Norton Anthology of Poetic Forms, Norton (New York, NY), 2000


Stuart Wright Collection: Mark Strand Papers at East Carolina University

"Mark Strand, 1934-2014," The Paris Review 

Additional Info

  • Region: Wasatch Front
  • Genre: Poetry
  • Tags: Poet Laureate