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J. D. McClatchy (1945–2018)

Author of The Vintage Book of Contemporary American Poetry

39+ Works 2,303 Members 13 Reviews 1 Favorited

About the Author

J. D. McClatchy was born Joseph Donald McClatchy Jr. in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania on August 12, 1945. He received a bachelor's degree from Georgetown University and a Ph.D. in English literature from Yale University. He taught at Yale University and Princeton University. He was the editor of The Yale show more Review from 1991 until his retirement in 2017. He was a poet, editor, anthologist, translator, and critic. He wrote eight volumes of poetry including Scenes from Another Life, Stars Principal, Kilim, Ten Commandments, The Rest of the Way, Mercury Dressing, Hazmat, and Plundered Hearts. He edited the Library of America's 2007 volume Thornton Wilder: Collected Plays and Writings on Theater. His volumes of criticism included White Paper: On Contemporary American Poetry and Twenty Questions. His anthologies included Poets on Painters: Essays on the Art of Painting by Twentieth-Century Poets, The Vintage Book of Contemporary American Poetry, and Love Speaks Its Name: Gay and Lesbian Love Poems. His poems and essays appeared in numerous publications including The New Yorker, The New York Times Book Review, and The Paris Review. He received two Lambda Literary Awards and Poetry magazine's Levinson Prize. He was also the author of opera librettos. He died from cancer on April 10, 2018 at the age of 72. (Bowker Author Biography) show less

Works by J. D. McClatchy

The Vintage Book of Contemporary American Poetry (1990) — Editor — 737 copies
The Vintage Book of Contemporary World Poetry (1996) — Editor — 302 copies
American Writers at Home (2004) 150 copies
Poets of the Civil War (2005) — Editor — 93 copies
Hazmat (2002) 49 copies
Ten Commandments (1998) 44 copies
The Rest of the Way (1990) 41 copies
Twenty Questions (1998) 29 copies

Associated Works

The Making of a Poem: A Norton Anthology of Poetic Forms (2000) — Contributor — 1,228 copies
Boys Like Us: Gay Writers Tell Their Coming Out Stories (1996) — Contributor — 389 copies
The Letter Q: Queer Writers' Notes to their Younger Selves (2012) — Contributor — 252 copies
A Velocity of Being: Letters to a Young Reader (2018) — Contributor — 223 copies
The Best American Poetry 2001 (2001) — Contributor — 219 copies
The Best American Poetry 2003 (2003) — Contributor — 170 copies
The Best American Poetry 1994 (1994) — Contributor — 169 copies
American Religious Poems: An Anthology (2006) — Contributor — 160 copies
The Best American Poetry 1998 (1998) — Contributor — 160 copies
The Best American Poetry 1995 (1995) — Contributor — 156 copies
After Ovid: New Metamorphoses (1994) — Contributor — 153 copies
Edna St. Vincent Millay: Selected Poems (2003) — Editor — 142 copies
The Best American Poetry 2008 (2008) — Contributor — 134 copies
The Best American Poetry 2009 (2009) — Contributor — 133 copies
More Was Lost: A Memoir (2001) — Introduction, some editions — 122 copies
Merwin: Collected Poems 1952-1993 (2013) — Editor — 81 copies
The World in Us: Lesbian and Gay Poetry of the Next Wave (2000) — Contributor — 80 copies
Merwin: Collected Poems 1996-2011 (1672) — Editor — 61 copies
60 Years of American Poetry (1996) — Contributor — 28 copies
Queer Nature: A Poetry Anthology (2022) — Contributor — 13 copies
The Voice of the Poet: Elizabeth Bishop (2000) — Essay — 11 copies


20th century (61) 21st century (23) American (68) American literature (100) American poetry (95) anthology (488) art (20) Best American Series (21) biography (34) collection (36) coming out (51) criticism (25) drama (23) essays (66) fiction (50) gay (67) letters (21) lgbt (25) LGBTQ (21) Library of America (113) literary criticism (35) literature (115) LOA (54) memoir (35) non-fiction (174) own (29) plays (23) poems (35) poetics (38) poetry (1,641) poetry anthologies (22) poetry anthology (55) queer (32) read (28) reference (60) series (23) sexuality (20) to-read (161) unread (22) writing (67)

Common Knowledge

Legal name
McClatchy, Joseph Donald, Jr.
Date of death
Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania, USA
Place of death
Manhattan, New York, USA
Cause of death
Places of residence
Stonington, Connecticut, USA
Georgetown University (A.B. | summa cum laude |1967)
Yale University (Ph.D. | 1974)
professor (English)
literary critic (show all 7)
Kidd, Chip (husband)
International PEN
Poetry Society of America
Alpha Sigma Nu
University of California, Los Angeles
Columbia University
Rutgers University (show all 11)
Johns Hopkins University
LaSalle College
Yale University
Yale Review
Princeton University
Awards and honors
Woodrow Wilson Fellowship (1967-68)
New York State Foundation for the Arts Fellowship (1986)
Connecticut Commission on the Arts grant (1981)
Academy of American Poets (1991)
Guggenheim Fellowship (Poetry ∙ 1988)
American Academy of Arts and Letters Academy Award (Literature ∙ 1991) (show all 20)
Oscar Blumenthal Prize ( [1988])
Levinson prize ( [1990])
Melville Cane award ( [1991])
Witter Bynner Prize (Poetry ∙ 1985)
Ingram Merrill Fellowship (1979)
Literary Lion award ( [1992])
Bess Hokin Prize ( [1994])
Union League Civic and Arts Foundation Poetry Prize ( [1999])
B. F. Connors Prize for Poetry ( [1999])
Governor's Arts Award, Connecticut (2000)
National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship (Poetry ∙ 1987)
Academy of American Poets
Phi Beta Kappa
American Academy of Arts and Sciences



With the exception of the final thirty pages of so (W.S. Merwin notwithstanding), a rather musty and fusty compilation of oceanic poesy. It's not the sea of Mary Oliver but more so "yo ho ho and a bottle of rum." The Ancient Mariner, indeed.
pcooleybeck | 2 other reviews | Jul 17, 2023 |
Take out most of the 20th century crap posing as poetry and you'd have a five-star book.
judeprufrock | Jul 4, 2023 |
Wonderful collection of poetry I read time and time again.
CherieKephart | 2 other reviews | Aug 3, 2017 |
A collection of some of the finest poems of the sea. My two favorites are Sea-Fever by John Masefield and Old Ironsides by Oliver Wendell Holmes.
bjtimm | 2 other reviews | Nov 8, 2016 |



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