The American civic poet… strives not only to speak to us with vigor and sympathy in our common language, but also to reveal how crucial that language is to our struggles and hopes as citizens. Pinsky is our finest living specimen of this sadly rare breed, and the poems of “Gulf Music” are among the best examples we have of poetry’s ability to illuminate not only who we are as humans, but who we are — and can be — as a nation.”

The New York Times Book Review

Latest News

New Poem “Soul Making” in the New Yorker 

Soul Making


Galactic broth visible light-years away
Brews the first suns. Familial, I feel
I know these lights. I see their pre-biotic
Geometries of purpose the way I impose

Human, nearly literary intentions
Onto the microscopic animals, flexing
Bizarre mandibles, that patrol my eyelids
And guts. Brothers and sisters electronically …

The full poem can be found here.

Christian Wessels on Jersey Breaks in Ploughshares 

the book cover for Jersey Breaks: Becoming an American Poet
“If you’ve heard about Robert Pinsky in the past fifty years—about something other than his poems “Shirt” or “Samurai Song” or his translation of Dante’s Inferno, about something other than his three-term position as Poet Laureate during which he founded the Favorite Poem Project—you’ve probably heard that he’s from Long Branch, NJ.” – CW

The full essay can be found here.

Ron Slate reviews Jersey Breaks in On The Seawall






Full article here.

“Jersey Breaks is largely about insisting on having things your own way and getting away with it. Such was the example set by grandfather Dave Pinsky, Prohibition bootlegger, then bar proprietor. Young Robert was a mediocre student, or rather, he was an avid reader who spurned the orthodoxies of schooling.”

—Ron Slate, On The Seawall

BU Today: Pinsky Traces His Journey to Becoming a Poet

“I work to produce not marks on paper but something more like a song or a monologue, or both,” Pinsky writes.
“It is hard to imagine anyone who has done more to champion poetry than Robert Pinsky. The author of 10 collections of poems—including the Pulitzer Prize–nominated The Figured Wheel: New and Collected Poems, 1966-1996—Pinsky has edited anthologies, written more than a half-dozen prose books about poetry, and translated Dante’s Inferno and the poems of Czesław Miłosz. As director of BU’s Creative Writing Program, he has helped launch the careers of many of the country’s most accomplished young contemporary poets.” –John O’Rourke, BU Today

Robert Pinsky’s new autobiography Jersey Breaks released October 11th from W.W. Norton & Company.

Order copies here.

Jersey Breaks, 2022

Jersey Breaks preview “Change Trains at Summit” now in The Yale Review

Read Pinsky’s new essay “Change Trains at Summit” in The Yale Review.






“Given my background, a dear friend recently asked me, How is it that I became a poet rather than a criminal or an optometrist?

I could quibble. My father, Milford Pinsky, was an optician, not an optometrist. (A common mistake.) And it’s true that his father, Dave Pinsky, was a criminal. But as my aunt Thelma used to say, her pop was in the liquor business, and it happened to be during Prohibition. That was the era when Dave, my Zaydee Pop, as I called him, pursued the liquor business in our hometown, Long Branch, New Jersey.”



Robert Pinsky readingThursday, February 23rd at 7:00pm

Join Robert Pinsky at Georgia Tech in a live-streamed reading with Jane Hirshfield.

More information here…

Thursday, March 9th at 7:30pm

Robert Pinsky reads from his new book Jersey Breaks at Warren County Community College.

More information here…

Saturday, April 1st at 4:00pm

Robert Pinsky will read from his new autobiography at the Montclair Public Library in NJ.

More information here…

Tuesday, April 18th at 4:30pm

Robert Pinsky to deliver keynote reading at Roger Williams University, Bristol, RI.

More information here…



Featured Video

Robert Pinsky discusses the nature of poetry and its origins in sound and language as a part of the 2021 Istanbul Poetry Festival (June, 2021).

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