Professor Frank Bidart in the classroom.

Frank Bidart, Andrew W. Mellon Professor in the Humanities and professor of English, has won the 2018 Pulitzer Prize for poetry for Half-light: Collected Poems 1965–2016. The jury called the book “a volume of unyielding ambition and remarkable scope that mixes long dramatic poems with short elliptical lyrics, building on classical mythology and reinventing forms of desires that defy societal norms.” In this magazine, reviewer Elizabeth Lund noted in the winter 2018 issue that “the voices in the work range from vulnerable and direct to sophisticated and theatrical, and appear in a variety of styles—heartbreaking lyrics, expansive narratives, and dramatic monologues featuring challenging figures such as child murderer Herbert White.”

In a letter to the community, President Johnson stated, “For 45 years, our students have had the good fortune to benefit from Professor Bidart’s inspiring teaching. His award-winning body of work—which has pushed the art of poetry forward—has brought great distinction to the College.” On April 17, shortly after it was announced that Bidart had received the Pulitzer, many members of the Wellesley community packed into Zeta Alpha Society House for a previously scheduled reading of his work—click here to watch Bidart read “Guilty of Dust” from Half-Light.

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