Birthplace: Long Branch, N.J.
Innovative poet who often draws on personal experience and contemporary themes in his work. He served as Poet Laureate of the United States (1997?2000) and was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1997. His collections include Sadness and Happiness (1975), The Figured Wheel (1996), and Jersey Rain (2000). He earned wide praise for his 1994 translation of Dante's Inferno.
Pinsky graduated from Rutgers in 1962 and received his Ph.D. from Stanford in 1966. He was poetry editor for The New Republic (1979?1986) and for the online magazine Slate.