The Department of English
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My father asked me, “Why do you write soft-sell?”
Cutting soft sole. “To sow hard seeds,” I said,
“And sell hard souls.” Through The Tower window,
The Time-Life sign blinked Time-Life,Time-life
Its occulating lights
Above the city.
-From Burn Down the Icons © 1976 by Grace Schulman,
published by Princeton University Press.
Grace Schulman's seventh collection of poems, Without a Claim, appeared in 2013 from Mariner Books. For her sixth collection, The Broken String, she won praise from Peter Makuck in The Hudson Review for her “sacramental vision” and from Wallace Shawn for seeing a “sharp, undeniable glimmering of beauty.” She is the author of Days of Wonder: New and Selected Poems (Houghton Mifflin), which was selected by Library Journal as one of the “best poetry books” of 2002, and was a finalist for the Phi Beta Kappa Award of that year; and The Paintings of Our Lives (Houghton Mifflin), a selection of the Academy of American Poets’ Book Club. Her book of essays, First Loves and Other Adventures, came out in 2010 (U. of Michigan Press). Among her honors are the Aiken Taylor Award for poetry, the Delmore Schwartz Memorial Award, a Guggenheim Fellowship, New York University's Distinguished Alumni Award, and a Fellowship from the New York Council on the Arts. Her poems have won five Pushcart Prizes, and have appeared in The Best American Poetry. Editor of The Poems of Marianne Moore (Viking, 2003), she is translator from the Hebrew of T. Carmi’s At the Stone of Losses; and co-translator from the Spanish of Pablo Antonio Cuadra’s Songs of Cifar. Schulman is former director of the Poetry Center, 92nd Street Y, 1974-84, and former poetry editor of The Nation, 1971-2006.
Schulman, who received her Ph.D. from New York University, has taught poetry writing at Princeton, Columbia, Bennington, and Warren Wilson. Her poems have been published in the New Yorker, the New Republic, Paris Review, the Hudson Review, the Kenyon Review, and the Atlantic, among other journals. Her poems, essays, and translations have appeared widely in journals, here and abroad. She lives in New York City and East Hampton, N. Y. with her husband, a scientist, Jerome Schulman.