Charles Simic is the fifteenth Poet Laureate of the United States. He was born in Belgrade, Yugoslavia, in 1938, and immigrated to the United States in 1953, at the age of 15. He has lived in New York, Chicago, the San Francisco area, and for many years in New Hampshire, where until his retirement he was a professor of English at the University of New Hampshire. A poet, essayist and translator, he has been honored with Wallace Stevens Award, a Pulitzer Prize, two PEN Awards for his work as a translator, and a MacArthur Fellowship. His nearly thirty books include The World Doesn’t End, Walking the Black Cat, and the recent The Monster Loves His Labyrinth.
Simic read from his work on October 2, 2008, in Cornell’s Goldwin Smith Hall. This interview took place earlier the same day. (Note: the audio contains a few accidental clicks and pops—sorry about that.)