Today, Pulitzer Prize-winning author Charles Simic is simultaneously one of our finest American poets and finest poets of exile.
Born in Yugoslavia in 1938, Charles Simic spent his childhood in war-torn Belgrade and escaped to the United States—via Paris—in 1952. Having already fallen in love with jazz, which was prohibited in his homeland, Simic quickly fell in love with the rest of American culture. Simic’s writing also inhabits two continents: his influences range from Serbian folklore to Emily Dickinson, from riddles to blues lyrics. His poetry brims with delightfully strange connections, dry wit, and straightforward diction. “He uncovers unexpected depth in apparently commonplace language,” praised the New Republic.
The author of more than sixteen collections of poetry—the most recent, My Noiseless Entourage (2005)—Simic has also published essays, memoirs, and numerous translations. Among his many accolades, he was elected Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets in 2000, is a winner of the Griffin Poetry Prize, and has received fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the MacArthur Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Arts.