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Marvin Bell featured in LA Review of Books interview
8/18/17

American poet Marvin Bell, a 1958 graduate of Alfred University, is the subject of an extended interview in The Los Angeles Review of Books at https://lareviewofbooks.org/article/a-lifetime-in-poetry-marvin-bell-on-iowa-and-the-dead-man-poems#!

Bell studied creative writing at the Iowa Writers Workshop after graduating from Alfred University (and following a brief flirtation with journalism at Syracuse University’s Newhouse School). He eventually taught for 30 years at the University of Iowa and was the first poet laureate of the state Of Iowa.

He recalls in his LARB interview choosing Alfred University because it was a New York state university and he figured Alfred, N.Y. was just across the Hudson River from New York City. (Bell was born in New York City and grew up on the south shore of Long Island).

The LARB interview ranges over a broad range of subjects, including Bell’s epic Dead Man series of poems and his development of the dyadic structure in poetry, which the author and literary scholar Judith Kitchen, writing in Georgia Review, described as achieving “ in poetry what has occasionally been done before — sending it into new and original territory. Bell has redefined poetry as it is being practiced today.”

Bell received an honorary doctorate from Alfred University 1986. He returned to his alma mater in 2002 to deliver the 2002 commencement address. The author of 24 books, he is a long-time resident of Iowa City, Iowa.