Let me begin with a simple memory. I was sitting in my dining room having a cup of coffee in the early afternoon before going off to meet somebody at the university; and I remembered, probably because my dining room faces west and looks toward the water, and because the sun was coming in through the window, a summer a long time ago—I was probably five—and sitting on the beach in New York at Rockaway, when a small biplane appeared over the water and began a series of climbs and turns and rolls, emitting a white trail that gradually turned into a sequence of furry letters that slowly spelled out the message.
I. J. FOX
I had just learned how to read and I read it slowly. And while I thought it was wonderful for the fox to write with such fine furry letters, I was a little irritated with the fox, who I thought was very stuck-up to brag like that, no matter how fine his furs, because in my reading it was this J. Fox who was bragging about his fur, which I imagined was as white as the letters that spelled out his name, and it took me a little while before I realized that it was not the fox who had authorized the message, but someone who made a business of skinning foxes and providing their furs to wealthy ladies at a price.
But my image of those beautiful white letters, formed so elegantly by the plane and over such a long time, that I had to wait to find out what the words were, and had to remember them as they began to disappear—by the time it said FURS, FOX had begun to blur and the "I" had begun to vanish—my sense of sitting on the beach in the bright light of a clear blue sky, and the new pleasure of reading, gave me such a physical experience of the act of reading that I thought it would be nice to do a poem that way, a skypoem. So being reasonably practical I went to the yellow pages and I started looking to see all the people who do skywriting.
But times had changed. There weren't all those people who did skywriting. In fact there was nobody in the San Diego or Los Angeles yellow pages who did skywriting. There were people listed who did aerial advertising by dragging signs and banners across the sky, but nobody who did any writing. So I started to call the local airports. It took a lot of time and a lot of calls, but I found out from somebody at the Santa Monica airport that there was a group located in the Cypress area who used to do it around Los Angeles, but he thought they were lying low because they were in a bit of trouble with the FAA. He gave me a name and a phone number, and it turned out that this group, called Skytypers, could do skywriting or, more accurately, skytyping, because they used five planes and a dot matrix method with a computerized program in which the five planes flew straight across the sky in formation at an altitude of about ten thousand feet, each plane putting up part of each letter.
When I finally reached them, or they reached me, because I got only an Answerphone and they had to call back, I told this guy, "I'm interested in putting some words up in the sky." He said, "That's all right. I do advertisements all the time." I said, "No, that's not it. I want to put up a poem. In the sky." And he said, "As long as it's not too long or obscene you can do it." I said, "That's not going to be the problem. It won't be too long and it won't be obscene. I'm not specially interested at the moment in writing erotic poetry in the sky." So he asked me, "What made you think of it?" and I started to tell him about I. J. FOX, and he said, "FINE FURS. That was my father." I said, "Oh? It was your father?" He said, "Yeah, in fact I was doing it a few years later when my father got tired of it. I was sixteen years old and I couldn't get a driver's license in New York, and my mother used to drive me out to the airport so I could fly this plane over the beach to write COCA COLA."
So Gregg Stinis and I had a kind of sentimental connection, and he gave me a very cheap price. He said, "If you want me to print your message on a day that I know I'm going to be in the air, you can have it for $650 a line. If I have to commit to a date without knowing that, it'll be a bit more." "Well," I asked, "can I specify the time?" He said, "You can specify the time. But I can't be responsible for any time when the sky is overcast, because everything is written in water vapor and that's what the clouds are made of. Water vapor doesn't show against water vapor." "So what happens then?" "We can do it for you the next day at the same price."
As it turned out, there were other limitations. There are always limitations. He told me I could have eighteen to twenty-three letters to a line, no more. Twenty-three letters if you don't use M or W. M's and W's count as two. This is one of the great formal properties of skypoems; and a three-line poem consisting of eighteen letters to a line, or twenty-three if you don't use M or W, becomes a little bit harder than a haiku if you're trying to write idiomatic English. Because letters are much less natural to English than syllables are to Japanese.
So then I had this dream of an epic poem stretching across the United States over twenty or thirty years, three or four lines a year—at two thousand bucks a shot—gradually being written for people who would never see all of it. Which didn't bother me in the least. Partly because I'm not such a public-spirited citizen, or maybe because I have no very clear idea of what a public is. Though I suspect from the way it's usually treated by the people who appear to perform in its interest that the public must be a disadvantaged and somewhat retarded part of our population.
But more specifically, I have a somewhat looser idea of the relations between writing and reading. I was counting on a certain randomness of interest among the onlookers. Some would know about the skypoem in advance and come to a central viewing place where they'd be waiting for it, because they'd read about it or been invited. Some might drift in when they saw the others gathering. Some might happen to be looking up while they were walking on the beach or driving on the highway. Some might pick it up in the middle or at the end, and some might leave before the end because they had to or because they didn't care to stay. And I liked it that way. I have a certain attraction to more or less democratic artworks that don't coerce your attention because they respect your independence-or maybe they're aristocratic because they're indifferent to your existence. But I wanted to do a poem that was outside of a book, and outside the range of the poetry magazine or small press distribution.
I have an extraordinarily prestigious publisher who believes that the publication of books is a hermetic activity, and he manages to hide our books with great care, valuing them and protecting them. He's a lovely man, a poet himself, Jay Laughlin of New Directions. But a skypoem is put up at an altitude of ten thousand feet. Each letter is twelve hundred feet high, each line is five and a half miles long and can be seen over an area of three hundred square miles from the ground. So I thought it would be nice to do a skypoem, because I had my image of that sitting-on-the-beach pleasure, and I thought I would offer it to people with a text that would keep changing while it was disappearing.
I had a text in mind—a beginning text for my micromonumental epic poem. It took me a long time to develop it. It didn't come right away. I needed a line that would keep changing its sense from phrase to phrase. I knew that it would take two to two and a half minutes to put up each line, and I wanted to stretch out that time—the time between lines, but also the time between changes. So I inserted a blank space one word long at the end of each phrase.
IF WE GET IT TOGETHER
which took a couple of minutes to put up. And then because I wanted the line to disappear, I arranged to be in radio contact with the planes from the ground so I could tell them, "Don't come back yet!" and they would make a long pass to the north, from which they couldn't see the line anymore, till I saw the line disappear and called them back to start the next phrase right below where the first one had been
CAN THEY TAKE IT APART
after which they'd go away and I'd wait for that line to disappear so I could call them back to finish up with
OR ONLY IF WE LET THEM
The poem was essentially aimed to offer the pleasures of reading to whoever cared. I remember they asked me on a television program after the second one of these skypoems, which I did for the La Jolla Museum on Labor Day a year later—they had me on one of these daytime television programs where a sprightly blonde lady and a sprightly blonde man ask you sprightly questions in a television manner—and they said to me, "You put a poem up in the air. What's a poem?" So I thought for a moment and I said, "A poem's a commercial that isn't selling anything." "Okay," they said, "how much did it cost?"
Now because it was four lines long and because of the complications involved in booking my Skytypers for Labor Day, and the cost to the museum for publicity and a mailing, the expenses finally came to somewhat less than $10,000 for the whole art event. Which I told them. And they said, "That's very expensive." I said, "Well it's expensive as poems go, but it's cheap as public artworks go—if you think of something like Serra's Tilted Arc. But think of it this way—if an artwork is discursive—if an artwork is some kind of talk—the nice thing about this one is it goes away fast, if you don't like it. And if you do like it, you remember it. But it takes an awful lot of energy to get rid of Tilted Arc."
One of the interesting difficulties of discursive artworks is that if they are protected as free speech, they will become the first forms of free speech that could violate zoning ordinances. And that's a rather odd issue—because the durative property of speech is not related to its discursive significance, or more bluntly, discourse is biodegradable in mind. And most things that people call public art objects won't go away. Which is unfortunate. Because often you want to take a look at them and send them on their way after they've used up their meaningfulness.
But this is difficult, because often their meaningfulness is exhausted very quickly. In ten minutes? I have often thought that the typical art look since the 1960s was the ten-second glance. It seems to have been developed by most of the Pop artists and minimalists, and I don't think I've ever seen anybody standing in front of a seventies or eighties work for forty-five minutes the way we probably all remember standing in front of a painting or sculpture in the Museum of Modern Art in our childhood. But maybe there are such anachronisms and there are a few people who might look at a contemporary artwork for forty-five minutes. Though I believe it would be somewhat more likely for them to think of it for forty-five minutes, however unlikely that might be. But looking at it for forty-five minutes seems somewhat dubious—unless what they're looking at is a performance piece that happens to last just forty-five minutes.
Now I didn't know how to get this funded. And I didn't want to layout $2,000, and I was doing another public artwork on a radio station in Los Angeles. All radio is in a sense public. Airwaves are public. They have been temporarily surrendered to private companies in the interest of the public by our government, which always acts in our interest. And because these private companies do things that are in the public interest from time to time, they are given control of pathways of definite size through this partitioned public airspace, that they are allowed to treat as toll roads, which are commonly known as stations or channels. These companies then control all transmission over these roads, which are in that sense not public, but this transmission over them can be received by anyone with an appropriate receiver, so that the reception is in fact public. And the nature of this one-way traffic from the private and privileged company to the passive and underprivileged consumer may have gone a long way toward defining the public as an underdeveloped and incapable entity consisting of a collection of more or less isolated needy individuals.
Now this was a station that acted somewhat more in the interest of the public in Los Angeles than many. It was a listener-funded one, KPFK, and was therefore funded fairly directly by its own public. And I was offered the opportunity undemocratically to do an artwork over its airwaves. There was no board of supervisors, no selection committee. Jackie Apple said, "David, would you like to do an artwork for radio?" I said, "Sure, when is it?" She gave me a date, and I prepared a piece to go out over the airwaves. And it was a talk piece of sorts. Part of it was prerecorded in a complicated way, and part of it was an improvisation that I undertook to interact with the recorded part, and it all went out live over the radio. And the whole piece was rather complicated to arrange. So we spent a lot of time up there in Los Angeles working it out. During a lunch break Jackie asked me about my plans for new work and I happened to mention my idea for a skypoem. She said, "Why don't you call up Henry Korn?" who was then director of the Santa Monica Arts Commission. I called up Henry Korn, and Henry Korn said, "What a great idea! You think you can do it on Decoration Day?" He happened to have $2,000 and an open slot for an artwork on Decoration Day, and so it got done.
This is the only way I have ever gotten a public artwork done. Some benevolent despot happens to be in power, and has $2,000 or $3,000 or $10,0000 to spend, or the amount of money you need. He likes your plan. He isn't afraid you're going to rape the public, and he tells you to go ahead. That's the way I got to do the radio piece for KPFK. Jackie Apple was producing a series of performance pieces with Astro Artz, the publishers of High Performance magazine, together with KPFK in Los Angeles. She asked me for a work, I said okay and did it. In this kind of situation the only thing that can stop you is some kind of technical problem like a power failure or forest fire.
We had a forest fire over the Cleveland National Forest when we were putting up the skypoem over San Diego. The planes were based in Palm Springs and had difficulty coming in. They were flying through great clouds of smoke, and had difficulty believing they were going to put the piece up. But we were on the ground in the parking lot of the La Jolla Museum, and we kept assuring them by radio that the sky was clear over La Jolla and they would be able to put the poem up. But when they got there, about half an hour late, the computer in one of the planes went down, and the pilot had to release his water vapor with a hand-switch on timings called out over the radio from the lead plane by Gregg, who was acting as flight commander. And the poem still went up, though I realized there were a few fragile aspects to this kind of work.
The next time I had the resources to do a poem like this, Gregg and his fliers were negotiating with the Olympics, and the Olympic Committee had a lot more money than we did. So I lost my Skytypers to Korea. But though there were serious problems, this was the nearly ideal public artwork for me. If people didn't like it, it went away. If the money was available and the weather was all right, nobody worried about what I was going to do. Except Gregg. He said, "Send me the words." I sent him the words. He said, "Okay. I don't know what it means. It's fine."
But I've also been involved in several public artworks of another kind. In the spring of 1985 an art person—Pat Fuller—called me on the telephone. At that time she was living in North Carolina and working as a consultant to the Art in Public Places program of Miami, and she said to me, "David, how would you like to write a proposal for a public artwork in an airport?" They were inviting some good people—Nam June Paik, Max Neuhaus, Robert Irwin, and a few others, all of whom I knew. So I said I would think about it, and if I could think of anything that made sense to me, I would submit a proposal.
Now as I reflected on my experience of airports, the one thing I remembered most intensely was all the time you spend waiting around with nothing to do. Or maybe you have a lot to do, but it's hard to do it, because you're waiting for something or someone, for how long you don't really know, and you have to continually look up or listen to catch some sudden appearance or muffled instruction that won't let you settle down in this airless, poorly lit space filled with other people intermittently wandering or rushing about or distractedly waiting around just like you. So I thought I would try to design something for all of those people waiting around.
What I imagined was a large monitor or lightboard in a part of the terminal where people had lots of time to kill, on which I would run an uncut newswire—the kind the newspapers get to cull their stories from by radical shortening and revision—which I would randomly interrupt with segments of my kind of poetry, a more or less colloquial mix of stories, one-liners, and aphorisms, sometimes in English and sometimes in Spanish, because this was Miami International Airport. And my idea was that the news was something like an airport. Predictable in general and surprising in detail. There is an earthquake in Turkey. Japanese workers want more leisure time. Black people are killed in South Africa. Drought keeps people from watering lawns in Southern California. Traffic accidents ruin holidays in France. Reported in a language that's always the same, spoken by nobody and seemingly generated by a kind of reporting machine.
So I proposed to break into this linguistic nonspace with intermittent samples of a more personal language, to try to establish a temporary human space in this dislocated transition zone. I wrote up the proposal and sent it off to Miami. In mid-July I got a letter from Cesar Trasobares, the executive director of Art in Public Places of Dade County, inviting me to participate "in an open-ended, forward-looking process to place art in an airport setting," and informing me I was one of a group of four artists who had been chosen by a selection panel of three curators, who had recommended us to nine advisors, two Art in Public Places trust liaisons, and three staff members in a meeting that took place under the eyes of three observers. The selection panel's recommendations had been accepted and I was invited to come to Miami and tour the site.
In September I flew to Miami and was taken around by Cesar and Antolin, a couple of courtly Cuban professionals, to meet some of the program's administrators and to a marvelous Cuban restaurant for lunch. I got myself installed in the airport motel, where it seems I spent most of my days prowling around the endless terminals and lobbies or hanging around the motel coffee shop, eavesdropping on the conversations of sleek-looking Latin businessmen, gun runners, counterrevolutionaries, and dope dealers and their splendidly painted girlfriends or wives, when I wasn't going to meetings with administrators or wandering around downtown Miami, while I waited to meet with the airport director. According to my gentle Cubans, Richard Judy was an impatient corporate dragon who made the final decisions on everything. They said he was very busy and they warned me to be brief.
He turned out to be your standard Anglo corporate executive. He shook my hand and came right to the point. "So what do you want to do in our airport?"
"I want to put up a newswire on a few of your signboards and interrupt it from time to time with some stories and jokes that I'll write in English and Spanish."
"Sounds okay to me," he said, and our meeting was over.
But Cesar told me that they were going to need a more elaborate statement of my plans. So I flew back home and wrote up as detailed an account as I could, considering that I didn't have the slightest idea of what kind of text I was going to write or how I was going to manage the interaction of my material with the newswire, where I wanted to put the electronic signboards, what kind of signboards I needed or where I could get them. At the end of January, Cesar told me they had approved my plans and they were preparing a contract. When it arrived, it was a contract for a proposal that required a three-dimensional model, drawings, and a budget, which I was supposed to have completed by July, although this was the middle May. The contract had been sitting in the Dade County lawyers' offices since January.
So my work started in July 1986. First I had to find a wire service that could rent us their lines and let me interrupt their text with mine. Then I could deal with the control system and the display. Working through the barriers of the AP's initial suspicions about my text—it would be obscene, outrageous, slanderous—I finally convinced Susan Burgstiner, their marketing manager, that it would be okay. This took me to February of 1987. She turned me on to Tim Fitzpatrick, who ran a software company named EPI in Minnesota, and by May 1987 we had a prototype system pretty well thought out.
The prototype was going to require two computers, a small LED signboard, and three controlling devices: a filter module designed to "listen" to the AP stories, take off their headers, maybe reject long strings of stock market quotations and do some buffering—store up news stories to supply from its memory if the AP wire were to crash; a scheduler module to read a schedule control file that I would design to set and vary the pace and scale of the feed of my material into the AP news text; and a remote control module that would let somebody seated at a remote PC at a remote site update the poem text and the schedule control file, and from time to time call for a phone signal from the controller PC to make sure that the system was working. Not counting the cost of the AP newswire—about $900 a month—or the phone lines, or my own expenses, the hardware and software for the complete development of this model came to something around $20,000.
I sent a detailed account of the plan and a budget to the Art in Public Places offices at the end of May 1987, and some time in the fall I got a letter from them asking me also to give them a precise proposal for the final installation in the airport. Working with Fitzpatrick by telephone, I was able to get this done by January 1988, and Cesar seemed pretty happy with it. Happy enough to send me the rest of my artist's fee for the proposal, and in March they sent me a draft of a new contract for development of the prototype and told me to check it out with my lawyer.
The contract seemed all right but was slightly weird. First it misstated the amount of money I had already been paid—"Whereas, the Art in Public Places Trust has paid the Artist $12,000." They'd paid me $10,000. Second, it suggested that the people down there had no idea what the artwork was, because the contract read, "Whereas, the computer technology comprising the artwork requires the Artist to further develop his design." This was nonsense. The computer technology didn't "comprise the artwork"; it was merely a support for the work's existence.
Then a new element appeared in the contract. During the course of my negotiations with Miami, Robert Irwin had apparently escalated himself out of the ranks of us project artists to "Master Planner" for the disposition of all the artworks in the airport. In the words of the contract, '''Master Planner' means Robert Irwin." The contract went on to specify that"Whereas the Artist has been apprised of Robert Irwin's Master Plan for the Miami International Airport." I hadn't seen anything I would have called a master plan, only an elaborate commentary Robert had made on the South Florida environment and Miami, and on some of the artistic possibilities of the airport, which he'd asked me to look over. This didn't look like a problem, although the contract required that I select a site for my work in consultation with airport officials, Robert Irwin, and the Art in Public Places staff, because the only logical sites were fairly obvious—the places where people had to hang around with lots of time to kill. And finally the contract stated reassuringly that "the Artist's initial proposal submission has been reviewed and recommended for design development by a panel of the Trust's Advisory Committee." In late March I gave the contract to a lawyer to clean up a few minor absurdities and by April I heard from Miami that the project had been killed.
Now I don't really know why it was killed. I made a lot of phone calls and sent a lot of letters, but I never got to talk to my amiable Cuban friend again, although he was still the director of the program. An entirely new young woman named Mary suddenly appeared to handle all communications with me, and from her I learned about a variety of new problems. The costs seemed to be unanticipatedly high for the prototype. The advisory committee wasn't sure something similar hadn't been done before. Some of its members were worried that interference with the news of the day might prove disturbing to some constituencies among the airport travelers.
I wrote letters reclarifying the work and its intentions. I offered to come out and meet personally with everyone concerned, to explain what I was doing and why it was distinctive. Why it cost this much. But it was all to no point. It was against procedural rules for artists to talk to the committee. My letters went unanswered. At length I was told that a new advisory committee had come into being, reviewed my plan and decided it was an excellent work for an art gallery but not for an airport. Later I heard that all the other airport projects, including Robert Irwin's master plan, had also been junked. Finally and somewhat indirectly, I heard from friends in Miami that the whole Miami Art in Public Places program was swamped in financial problems and had gone on hold.
Now I have no complaints—at least not personal ones. I was well paid, though not exorbitantly, if you consider the amount of time I spent on the project. But I really would have liked to see the work go up in the airport. I would have liked to make annual updates of my poetic texts. I could have been the first poet in the world to have a maintenance contract with an airport. But mostly I felt sorry for the people who had helped me—for Tim Fitzpatrick out in Minnesota, who had already put in so much time working out the software design with me, for Susan Burgstiner at
AP, who probably went out on a limb for me with their bureaucracy to let a poet mess with their newswire, and for all the weary travelers waiting for planes out of Miami who could have had something more amusing to do than eat junk food or work out their expense accounts or get ink all over their hands and eyestrain from reading over and over again their already outdated newspapers. But instead it evaporated like a dry ice sculpture.
Now it's possible that this whole thing was about money, but I don't think so. Twenty, thirty thousand dollars, though a considerable amount of money to a human being, is small change to an airport. And no one asked if there was a possibility of reducing the costs in any event. But there was one aspect of the project that was probably related to its failure. It wasn't the scale. The skypoems were much larger. It was the duration. My newspoem was as near to a permanent installation as anything imaginable. It could have gone on for years, for as long as the Miami International Airport lasted, as long as the A8 wire continued to transmit and phone company lines persisted in working. Skypoems are gone in twenty minutes. And this is the major point of most of the issues surrounding so-called public art. Permanence.
Nobody knows who the public is or what it wants or needs. Or whether it should be considered singular or plural. Though there are many people claiming to act on its behalf or speak in its name. And no one is quite sure what space belongs to it or to them, though that usually seems to be what's left over when all of the other spaces have been appropriated, walled, shut, fenced, or screened off by whatever groups or individuals can enforce private claims to them. So what we are left with are discards and transition spaces, spaces for a kind of temporary and idle occupation like lounging, strolling, and hanging around—streets, squares, parks, beaches, bus stops, subway stations, railroad and airport terminals. And since all of these have been increasingly encroached upon and restricted by various authorities in the urban renewal and spread of the suburban mall culture of the last twenty years, the idea of permanent appropriation of yet more of this common space by an artwork seems to be of great moment, and seriously debatable by all the constituencies who might desire access to that space or lay claim to it, or by all the people who can claim to speak for them. So the issue is permanent appropriation of space. Once something is going to be permanent everybody cares about it.
This issue becomes even more pressing for a contemporary art world embedded in a society that smothers discourse under an avalanche of indestructible and trashy objects, to which it responds by laying more weight on the discursive properties of artworks than on their object-like status, or at least on the discourses implied by the nature and structure of these art objects. So it becomes reasonable to consider artworks a kind of speech, and to protect them with all the freedom of speech. But then they become the first examples of speech that can collect dust, block traffic, and violate zoning ordinances, as well as the sensibilities of some constituency that will surely appear, or will appear to appear, as soon as the work takes its place in one of these contested spaces.
So to mute this contest before it occurs, to prevent the placement in public space of any artwork that could conceivably give offense to anyone, an army of bureaucrats is usually placed securely around it, whose nominal job is to protect the space, but whose eventual concern is to protect themselves. Because the basic form of American bureaucracy is to cover your ass. And you cover your ass with paper, and you paper people to death. And everybody papers everybody else to death, because everybody is afraid of being held responsible for doing something that might disturb somebody.
We would probably have much better public art if everybody wasn't afraid of disturbing people, because they knew you could eventually wheel the art away. I would like to suggest that you could make the most disturbing public art in the world and nobody would give a damn, because you would know that after some limited time it would go away. The way all good discourse goes away. I don't think public art installations should be permanent. I think they should be wreckable. I think we should have a ceremony of destruction and remove them regularly. I think works like Serra's should after some specifically limited time have been publicly destroyed in an honorable fashion. Honoring its creator in a ritual fashion. This ritual would not have meant that the work was bad, but that it had said what it had to say. In this sense I believe that the court was right. There was no reason to iterate his single utterance forever. Perhaps the right to repeat yourself endlessly in a given space is not freedom of speech. It may become a form of tyranny.
On the other hand some of the most effective public artworks I've ever seen—like Suzanne Lacy's Whisper Project—went away. And one of the great things about artworks that go away is they remain in your mind. And you can use them. They can become part of other artworks. While if they clutter up the space, you eventually have insufficient space to put up anything else. So from my point of view removal is a greater problem than preservation.
This is one of the greatest problems of architecture. How to get rid of buildings economically and efficiently that no longer serve their own or any useful purpose and are choking up our streets. And in view of the buildings that have been going up for the last ten to twenty years in the United States the problem is becoming calamitous. A number of years ago I gave a talk on this subject at an architecture school; and it wasn't very popular then, but perhaps its time has come. I suggested that the problem of architecture is not how to make it, but how to get rid of it. The biggest problem in our cities is how to destroy no longer useful buildings—discarded shopping malls, useless high rises. My solution was soluble architecture—buildings provided with a plumbing system into which you could drop catalytic pills that would cause them to dissolve and run out through their own pipes into the sewer where they belong.
About the Author
David Antin is professor emeritus in the Department of Visual Arts at the University of California, San Diego. A poet, critic, and performance artist, he is the author of ten books of poetry, including Talking, Talking at the Boundaries, Tuning, What It Means to Be Avant Garde, i never knew what time it was, and John Cage Uncaged Is Still Cagey. He received the PEN Los Angeles Award for Poetry in 1984 and has received fellowships from both the Guggenheim Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts.
The University of Chicago Press