Lewis Hyde was born in Boston in 1945 and educated at the universities of Minnesota and Iowa. His much reprinted essay "Alcohol and Poetry: John Berryman and the Booze Talking" (1975) grew out of his experiences as an alcoholism counselor. He has also worked as an electrician and a carpenter to support himself while writing.Short Biography
His edition of the selected poems of the Nobel Prize-winning Spanish writer Vicente Aleixandre was published by Harper & Row in 1979. His 1983 book, The Gift, is an inquiry into the situation of creative artists in a commercial society. He has edited the essays of Henry D. Thoreau and a volume of critical responses to Allen Ginsberg's poetry. Milkweed Editions has published a book of his poems, This Error is the Sign of Love. His most recent book about art and culture, Trickster Makes This World, was published by Farrar, Straus & Giroux in 1998.
Hyde has received grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Lannan Foundation, and the Guggenheim Foundation. In 1991 he was made a MacArthur Fellow. His poetry and essays have appeared in numerous journals, including the Kenyon Review, the American Poetry Review, the Paris Review, and the Nation.
For six years Hyde taught writing at Harvard University where, in his last year, he was director of the creative writing faculty. He has taught at Kenyon College since 1989 where he is currently the Richard L. Thomas Professor of Creative Writing. He and his wife, Patricia Vigderman, divide their time between Gambier, Ohio and Cambridge, Mass.