Charles Simic Biography

Born: May 9, 1938
Birthplace: Belgrade, Yugoslavia

Charles Simic replaced Donald Hall as Poet Laureate of the U.S. in 2007. Born in Yugoslavia in 1938, Simic moved to the U.S. when he was 16. He lived in Chicago with his parents until he was drafted into the U.S. Army in 1961, and served until 1963. He then attended New York University, graduating in 1966.

His first book of poems was published in 1959, when he was 21, and he has since published over 60 books in the U.S., including 20 books of poetry. He has won numerous awards, including the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry in 1990 for The World Doesn’t End, and the International Griffin Poetry Prize in 2005 for Selected Poems: 1963-2003. Other titles include The Book of Gods and Devils (2000), which was a New York Times Notable Book of the Year, and Walking the Black Cat (1996), which was a finalist for the National Book Award.

Simic is Emeritus Professor of the University of New Hampshire, where he has taught creative writing and literature for 34 years.