Episode 009: Heather McHugh


Heather McHugh was born to Canadian parents in San Diego, California, in 1948. She was raised in Virginia and educated at Harvard University. Her books of poetry include Eyeshot (Wesleyan University Press, 2003); Hinge & Sign: Poems 1968-1993 (1994), which won both the Boston Book Review’s Bingham Poetry Prize and the Pollack-Harvard Review Prize, was a Finalist for the National Book Award, and was named a “Notable Book of the Year” by the New York Times Book Review; Shades (1988); To the Quick (1987); A World of Difference (1981); and Dangers (1977).

She is also the author of Broken English: Poetry and Partiality (1993), and two books of translation: Because the Sea is Black: Poems of Blaga Dimitrova (with Niko Boris, 1989) and D’après tout: Poems by Jean Follain (1981).

Her honors include two grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Griffin Poetry Prize, and a Guggenheim Foundation fellowship. In 1999 she was elected a Chancellor of The Academy of American Poets. Heather McHugh teaches as a core faculty member in the MFA Program for Writers at Warren Wilson College, and as Milliman Writer-in-Residence at the University of Washington in Seattle.

McHugh read in Cornell’s Goldwin Smith Hall on April 19, 2007. This interview took place the following day.