Alice Notley

Ivor Griffiths, Poet, Novelist & Short Story Writer

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Alice Notley (born in 1945) is an American poet. She was born in Bisbee, Arizona and grew up in Needles, California. She received a B.A from Barnard College in 1967 and an M.F.A. from the University of Iowa in 1969. She married the poet Ted Berrigan in 1972, with whom she was active in the Chicago poetry scene and with whom she had two sons. In the early 70s she became rooted in New York's Lower East Side, where she was an important force from 1976 through 1992. After Berrigan died in 1983, Notley raised their two sons in New York's East Village by herself for several years while continuing to develop her poetry. In 1992 she moved to Paris with her second husband, the British poet Douglas Oliver (1937-2000). She lives in Paris currently, making several trips to the United States each year to give readings and teach writing classes.

Notley has earned a reputation as one of the most challenging and engaging poets at work today. Fiercely independent, she has never tried to be anything other than a poet, and all of her ancillary activities have been directed to that end. She is the author of over twenty books of poetry, and also the author of a book of essays on poets and poetry, Coming After.

Alice Notley was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize, and winner of the Los Angeles Times Book Award for Poetry. In the spring of 2001 she received an Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters and the Poetry Society of America's Shelley Memorial Award. She edited and wrote a new introduction to her late husband Ted Berrigan's The Sonnets (Penguin, 2000). Recently, Notley edited The Collected Poems of Ted Berrigan (UC, 2005) with her sons, the poets Anselm Berrigan and Edmund Berrigan.


  • 165 Meeting House Lane (1971)
  • Phoebe Light (1973)
  • Incidentals in the Day World (1973)
  • For Frank O'Hara's Birthday (1976)
  • Alice Ordered to Be Made (1976)
  • A Diamond Necklace (1977)
  • Songs for the Unborn Second Baby (1979)
  • Dr. Williams' Heiresses (1980)
  • When I Was Alive (1980)
  • How Spring Comes (1980)
  • Waltzing Matilda (1981)
  • Tell Me Again (1982)
  • Sorrento (1984)
  • Margaret & Dusty (1985)
  • Parts of a Wedding (1986)
  • At Night the States (1988)
  • From a Work in Progress (1988)
  • Homer's Art (1990)
  • To Say You (1993)
  • Selected Poems of Alice Notley (1993)
  • Close to Me and Closer...(The Language of Heaven) and Desamere (1995)
  • The Descent of Alette (1996)
  • Mysteries of Small Houses (1998)
  • Disobedience (2001) (winner of the 2002 International Griffin Poetry Prize)
  • From the Beginning" (2004)
  • Coming After(2005)
  • Alma, or the Dead Women
  • Grave of Light: New and Selected Poems 1970-2005
  • Interview by Douglas A. Martin at Loggernaut.

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