Kay Ryan was born in California in 1945 and grew up in the small towns of the San Joaquin Valley and the Mojave Desert. She received both a bachelor’s and master’s degree from UCLA.
Ryan has published several collections of poetry, including The Niagara River (Grove Press, 2005); Say Uncle (2000); Elephant Rocks (1996); Flamingo Watching (1994), which was a finalist for both the Lamont Poetry Selection and the Lenore Marshall Prize; Strangely Marked Metal (1985); and Dragon Acts to Dragon Ends (1983). The Best of It: New and Selected Poems will be published by Grove Press in spring 2010.
Ryan’s poems and essays have appeared in The New Yorker, The Atlantic, Poetry, The Yale Review, Paris Review, The American Scholar, The Threepenny Review, and Parnassus, among other journals and anthologies. Her work has been selected four times for The Best American Poetry and was included in The Best of the Best American Poetry 1988-1997.
Ryan was elected a Chancellor of The Academy of American Poets in 2006. In 2008, Ryan was appointed the Library of Congress’s sixteenth Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry. Since 1971, she has lived in Marin County in California.
Jane Collins is the director of the Poets at Pace reading series at Pace University in Pleasantville, NY, where she teaches literature, film and creative writing. Her poems have appeared in Puerto Del Sol, The Greensboro Review, Confrontation, and other journals. Her interview of poet Rafael Campo appeared in The Seattle Review. She lives with her son Sam in a small town on the Hudson River.