Frank Bidart, a poet of great and unusual brilliance, has described his writing process as “cracking the shell of the world; or finding that the shell is cracking under you.” His intensely thoughtful, courageous, and powerful poems, collected in In the Western Night, disturb and focus the minds of his readers—a quality his work shares with Emily Dickinson’s. His recent collection Desire was a finalist for the National Book Award and the National Book Critic’s Circle Award.
One of the most original and compelling poets in America as well as a devoted and brilliant teacher, Bidart was chosen by judges Lucille Clifton, Robert Hass, and Charles Wright as winner of the 1997 Hardison Prize.
Click here to listen to Frank Bidart read his poem “The Yoke” at his O.B. Hardison, Jr. Poetry Prize Reading on October 21, 1997.