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Q&A with Linda Bierds | 1987 GAP, Literary

Artist Trust

Q: What kind of art do you make?
A: I am a poet.

Q: What did you use your award for?
A: At the time of my award, I was working part-time at two different jobs.  I used the award to buy time off from one job and devote those saved hours to writing.

Q: What was the impact of this award/Artist Trust on your art career/life?
A: The impact of the award on both my art and my life is extremely significant. The award helped to confirm that my choice to live my life as a poet was a good one. In addition, the time that the Artist       Trust award freed for me went directly toward polishing the poems that comprised my second book of poetry.  That book attracted the attention of Marian Wood, who is now with Penguin/Putnam. She began to publish my books and has been my editor for twenty-nine years.

Linda Bierds’ ninth book of poetry, Roget’s Illusion, was published by Putnam’s in March, 2014 and longlisted for the 2014 National Book Award.  Her poems have appeared in numerous magazines and anthologies, including The Atlantic, The New Yorker, The Smithsonian, Poetry, and The Best American Poetry: 2014.
In addition to being awarded a MacArthur Foundation Fellowship, Bierds, who teaches in the Creative Writing Program at the University of Washington in Seattle,  has received the PEN/West Poetry Prize, the Washington State Governor’s Writers Award, the Consuelo Ford Award from the Poetry Society of America, four Pushcart Prizes, the Virginia Quarterly Review’s Emily Clark Balch Poetry Prize, and fellowships from the Ingram Merrill Foundation, the Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, the Rockefeller Foundation, and twice from the National Endowment for the Arts.
She teaches in the Creative Writing Program at the University of Washington and lives on Bainbridge Island.