Atsuro Riley is known for his unparalleled ability to blend lyric and narrative modes. His stunning and highly original book Romey’s Order is a sequence of poems set in his childhood ‘blood-home,’ the South Carolina lowcountry—and is the winner of the Kate Tufts Discovery Award, The Believer Poetry Award, the Whiting Writers’ Award, and the Witter Bynner Award from the Library of Congress. Riley’s work has also been honored with the Lannan Foundation Literary Fellowship, the National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship, the Pushcart Prize, and the Wood Prize given by Poetry magazine. Riley lives in San Francisco.
Kay Ryan was born in California in 1945 and grew up in the small towns of the San Joaquin Valley and the Mojave Desert. She has lived in Marin County in Northern California since 1971. Ryan’s collections of poetry include most recently Erratic Facts, the 2011 Pulitzer Prize-winning The Best of It, New and Selected Poems; Say Uncle, Elephant Rocks, and Flamingo Watching among others. About her work, J.D. McClatchy has said: “Her poems are compact, exhilarating, strange affairs, like Erik Satie miniatures or Joseph Cornell boxes. She is an anomaly in today’s literary culture: as intense and elliptical as Dickinson, as buoyant and rueful as Frost.” Ryan’s awards include a MacArthur “Genius” Award; The National Humanities Medal awarded by President Obama in 2012; the 2011 Pulitzer Prize for Poetry, the Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize, a Guggenheim Fellowship, and an Ingram Merrill Award. Ryan was elected a Chancellor of The Academy of American Poets in 2006. In 2008, she was appointed the Library of Congress’s sixteenth Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry.