Toronto (Ontario, Canada), 1950

Anne Carson, poet, essayist, classical scholar, professor. Anne Carson’s career as a writer has been influenced and shaped by her study of Classics at the University of Toronto, where she completed her, the BA (1974), MA (1975), and PhD (1981), and at the University of St Andrews, Scotland, where she received a diploma in Classics in 1976. Since graduating, she has taught Classics at various institutions across the United States and Canada, including McGill University, where she holds a post as professor. Carson’s first book, Eros the Bittersweet: an Essay (1986), was followed by a number of books in the 1990s that attracted general acclaim. Men in the Off Hours (2000) secured her reputation as a poet; it was shortlisted for the T.S. Eliot Poetry Prize in Britain, nominated for a Governor general’s award, and won the Griffin Poetry Prize. Since the mid-1990s, she has won a number of prestigious awards, including the Pushcart Prize (1997), the Guggenheim Fellowship (1998), and the MacArthur Fellowship (2000). In August 2005, she was named a member of the Order of Canada. Informed by her classical scholarship and literary background, Carson’s poetry is richly dense and allusive, making reference to the likes of Helen of Troy, Hektor, and Geryon, as well as Virginia Woolf, Gertrude Stein, and Emily Brontë. Stylistically, her work has been recognized because of its unique fusion of various poetic forms and free verse with prose, especially the essay. Love, and all its attendant enticements, satisfactions, trials, complexities, and disappointments, and those issues related to the spiritual and the divine are the more consistent themes of Carson’s poetry. The sheer breadth of her subjects is stunning.

Linda Morra, Canadian encyclopedia [v-13]