Hyam Plutzik: American Poet features the last recorded interview given by Stanley Kunitz, who died in May, 2006 at the age of 100. He received the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry in 1958, a National Book Award in 1995, and was twice Poet Laureate of the United States. A founder of Poet’s House, he has long been an advocate of the value of poetry in public life and discourse. He and Grace Schulman, who also appears in the film, joined in a tribute to Hyam Plutzik’s poetry at New York City’s 92nd Street Y in the 1980s.
Grace Schulman is poetry editor of The Nation magazine and is Distinguished Professor of English at Baruch College. For many years she was director of the Poetry Series at the 92nd Street Y in New York City, where she joined the late Stanley Kunitz in presenting a tribute to Hyam Plutzik’s work in the 1980s. Grace Schulman is the author of several poetry collections, has edited scholarly collections of the works of Marianne Moore and Ezra Pound, and has translated poetry from Hebrew and Spanish.
Donald Hall is the current Poet Laureate of the United States. He has won numerous awards for his writing and has been nominated three times for the National Book Award. His interviews with leading authors of his day were published in The Paris Review, of which he was literary editor. He also compiled several important poetry anthologies and supervised the publication of many titles by the University of Michigan Press. His most recent book, Without, describes his struggle in dealing with the illness and death of his second wife, poet Jane Kenyon.
Much of Kinnell’s early poetry was forged in the crucible of the civil rights and anti-war struggles of the 1960s. He has published about a dozen collections, including Selected Poems (1980), for which he received both a Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award; and A New and Selected Poems, which was a National Book Award finalist in 2000. He taught for many years as the Erich Maria Remarqué Professor of Creative Writing at New York University and has served as a Chancellor of the American Academy of Poets.
Hayden Carruth is the author of twenty-nine poetry collections, a novel, four books of criticism, and two anthologies. His 1996 collection Scrambled Eggs and Whiskey won the National Book Award for Poetry. He has served as editor of Poetry magazine, the poetry editor of Harper’s, and as advisory editor of The Hudson Review. He is the recipient of numerous fellowships, including those from the Bollingen Foundation, the Guggenheim Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Arts.