Stephen Yenser

(1941 / Kansas / United States)

Biography of Stephen Yenser

Stephen Yenser poet

Stephen Yenser (born 1941 Wichita, Kansas) is an American poet and literary critic who has published two acclaimed volumes of verse, as well as books on James Merrill, Robert Lowell, and an assortment of contemporary poets. With J.D. McClatchy, he is co-literary executor of the James Merrill estate and co-editor of four volumes of Merrill's work.
Yenser graduated from the University of Wisconsin, studying with James Merrill in 1967 on one of the rare occasions when the poet taught. Merrill dedicated to Yenser his final, posthumous collection, A Scattering of Salts (1995).
Yenser is Professor of English and Director of Creative Writing at the University of California, Los Angeles,curating the Hammer Poetry Series at the Hammer Museum.
His work has appeared in Paris Review,Poetry, Southwest Review, Yale Review, "The New Yorker," and many other magazines. He lives in Los Angeles with his wife and daughter..

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Petition On Santorini

Mother of Stone, Cybele,
Stone Mother, keep me low,
Resigned, involved, confusable
As to the novice eye the vine
With wild thyme and caper, close
To your chemic soil—
Ash, tuff, and pumice—twined
In on itself to stand
Up under summer wind

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