James Tate Papers
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Biographical / Historical Note

James Tate, born in Kansas City, Missouri, received his BA from Kansas State College and his MFA from the University of Iowa Writers Workshop. He has taught at the University of Iowa, University of California at Berkeley, Columbia University, Emerson College, and the University of Massachusetts. He has also been poetry editor for the Dickinson Review, and associate editor for two small presses, the Pym-Randall Press and the Barn Dream Press. Tate has written more than 30 books, chapbooks, and broadsides since his first published work in 1966, and is probably best known for The Lost Pilot (1967) and The Oblivion Ha-Ha (1970). His poetry is set in surreal, bizarre landscapes, and his themes deal with boredom, confusion, terror, or emptiness.

Charles Simic was born in Yugoslavia and emigrated to the United States at 16. He received his B. A. from New York University, and has taught at California State College and the University of New Hampshire. Simic has produced 13 volumes of poetry and has done a great deal as a translator of contemporary Slavic poetry; his own work reflects this Eastern European influence, and has been described as strange, dark, even macabre.