Oral History Project

Oral History Interview with Ron Padgett

The Poetry Project’s Managing Director, Nicole Wallace, and Volunteer Archivist, Will Edmiston, interviewed Ron Padgett in his East Village apartment on November 20, 2011. Ron Padgett, b. June 17, 1942, was the first editor of The Poetry Project Newsletter (1972-1973) and The Poetry Project’s third Director (1978-1980).

Ron Padgett wished to make the following clarifications in regard to his oral history:
He was The Poetry Project Newsletter editor from 1972-1973 and the Artistic Director from 1978-1980. Padgett’s second reference to moving on from being the Newsletter editor is actually in reference to leaving the directorship. And finally, the L&M Cafe referred to was on the corner of Second Avenue and 10th Street, New York City.

Ron Padgett

Padgett grew up in Tulsa and has lived mostly in New York City since 1960. Among his many honors are a Guggenheim Fellowship, the American Academy of Arts and Letters poetry award, the Shelley Memorial Award, and grants from the National Endowment for the Arts. Padgett’s How Long was Pulitzer Prize finalist in poetry and his Collected Poems won the William Carlos Williams Award from the Poetry Society of America and the Los Angeles Times prize for the best poetry book of 2013. In addition to being a poet, he is also the translator of Guillaume Apollinaire, Pierre Reverdy, and Blaise Cendrars. His own work has been translated into eighteen languages.