Bio


Kathleen Spivack’s newest book is the novel Unspeakable Things (Alfred A. Knopf, 2016).  The book centers on European refugees in New York City struggling to survive during the last year of the second World War. Kathleen started this book in France, on a Fulbright grant, during the Maurice Papon trial, while France was re-examining its history.

Kathleen Spivack is the author of With Robert Lowell and His Circle (University Press of New England, 2012), a touching and deeply revealing look into the lives and thoughts of some of the most influential poets of the twentieth century. Kathleen came to Boston in 1959 on a scholarship to study with Robert Lowell. The book includes portraits of other poets of that time: Sylvia Plath, Anne Sexton, Elizabeth Bishop, Stanley Kunitz; who took her under their wing, with a strong focus on how they approached their work. With Robert Lowell et al. showcases this journey, the life-changing privilege of being part of a major evolution in modern American poetry.

Other books include: A History of Yearning, Winner of the Sows Ear International Poetry Prize 2010, which went on to win the London Book Festival Poetry Prize, and others; Moments of Past Happiness (Earthwinds/Grolier Editions 2007); The Beds We Lie In (Scarecrow 1986), nominated for a Pulitzer Prize; The Honeymoon (a collection of short stories, Graywolf 1986); Swimmer in the Spreading Dawn (Applewood 1981); The Jane Poems (Doubleday 1973); and Flying Inland (Doubleday 1971). A literary writer, she publishes and performs her work widely: essays, short stories, poetry.

Kathleen Spivack has been a visiting professor of American Literature/Creative Writing (one semester annually) in France since 1990. She has held posts at the University of Paris VII-VIII, the University of Francoise Rabelais, Tours, the University of Versailles, and at the Ecole Superieure (Polytechnique). She was a Fulbright Senior Artist/Professor in Creative Writing in France (1993-95). Her poetry has been featured at festivals in France and in the U.S. She reads and performs in theatres, and she also works with composers. Her song cycles and longer pieces have been performed worldwide.

She has received grants from the National Endowment for the Arts; Bunting Institute; two Radcliffe Institute fellowships; Massachusetts Council for the Arts and Humanities; the Fulbright Commission and others. A Discovery winner, she has held residencies at Yaddo, MacDowell, Ragdale, Karolyi, and the American Academy in Rome. Some recent prizes include: Allen Ginsberg Poetry Award 2010, the 2010 Erica Mumford Award, the 2010 Paumanok Award, Solas/Best Travel Writing Awards, and others. An international writing coach, Kathleen Spivack directs the Advanced Writing Workshop, originally created through the NEA, an intensive program for professional writers. She has taught in the Bahamas, Puerto Rico, Barbados, in Greece, at the Provincetown Fine Arts Work Center in its early days, and for the Holland America Line. She also teaches in Santa Fe, Taos, Aspen, IWWG/ Skidmore, Brown and other programs throughout the United States and abroad.

Published in numerous magazines and anthologies, some of her work has been translated into French. Publications include The New Yorker, Ploughshares, The Atlantic Monthly, Poetry, Massachusetts Review, Virginia Quarterly, The Southern Review, Harvard Review, The Paris Review, The Kenyon Review, Agni, New Letters, and many others, some of which are listed below.