Rosmarie Waldrop Biography

Rosmarie Waldrop (born August 24, 1935), née Sebald, is a contemporary American poet, translator and publisher. Born in Germany, she has lived in the United States since 1958. She has lived in Providence, Rhode Island since the late 1960s. Waldrop is coeditor and publisher of Burning Deck Press, as well as the author or coauthor (as of 2006) of 17 books of poetry, two novels, and three books of criticism.

Early life in Germany

Waldrop was born in Kitzingen am Main on August 24, 1935. Her father, Joseph Sebald, taught physical education at the town's high school. Towards the end of the Second World War, she joined a travelling theatre, but returned to school after in early 1946. At school, she studied piano and flute and played in a youth orchestra. At Christmas 1954, the orchestra gave a concert for American soldiers stationed at Kitzingen. Afterwards, one of the audience, Keith Waldrop invited members of the orchestra to listen to his records. He and Rosmarie became friendly and worked together over the next few months, translating German poetry into English.

Poetry and translations

Rosmarie Waldrop started publishing her own poetry in English in the late 1960s. Since then, she has published over three dozen books of poetry, prose and translation. Today her work is variously characterized as verse experiment, philosophical statement and personal narrative. Of the many formative influences on her mature style, a crucial influence was a year spent in Paris in the early 1970s, where she came into contact with leading avant garde French poets, including Claude Royet-Journoud, Anne-Marie Albiach, and Edmond Jabès. These writers influenced her own work, but equally, she became one of the main translators of their work into English and Burning Deck one of the main vehicles for introducing their work to an English-language readership.

Popular Poems