Linda Gregg, 1942–2019
April 4, 2019
On March 20, the celebrated poet Linda Gregg passed away at a hospital in Manhattan from cancer. The author of seven collections of poetry published by Graywolf Press, including All of It Singing: New & Selected Poems and In the Middle Distance, Gregg received many honors for her work, including the PEN/Voelcker Award, the Jackson Poetry Prize, a Guggenheim Fellowship, a Lannan Literary Foundation Fellowship, a National Endowment for the Arts grant, and a Whiting Writer’s Award, among others.
In an essay titled “The Art of Finding,” which the Academy of American Poets published in 2006, Gregg described her poems as “made of the landscape in northern California where I grew up… the live oak trees, the stillness, the tall grass, the dry smell of the hot summer air where the red-tailed hawks turned slowly up high.” Tracy K. Smith, the poet laureate and a former student of Gregg’s at Columbia University, commented to The New York Times that her outward-looking work was “a gateway to the richness of the inner life.” Smith added, “And the inner realm that her poems make me mindful of always feels at once deeply human and quite nearly sacred.”
In a statement, Graywolf, her longtime publisher, described her and her work as “passionate, dazzling, and enduring.” “She is one of the greats,” Graywolf continued, “and she is missed.”
Image Credit: Mel Evans/AP