“Robin Becker reminds me that to be a Jew or a feminist is to live with duality—of culture, language, and dream. The several warring parts of a complex identity—imposed, inherited, chosen—don’t make easy sense. Events are funny, painful, awkward, unassimilable. With passionate intelligence, Becker conjures them for me, and I identify.”
Available in print format.
Robin Becker, Professor of English and Women's Studies at the Pennsylvania State University, is the author of five collections of poems and the chapbook Venetian Blue (Frick Art & Historical Center, 2002.) Of her three books published by the University of Pittsburgh Press, two (All-American Girl and The Horse Fair) received nominations for the Lambda Literary Award, and All-American Girl won the prize in 1996. Becker has received individual grants from foundations and institutions including The National Endowment for the Arts, The Massachusetts Cultural Council, The Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, The Center for Lesbian and Gay Studies of the City University of New York, and The William Steeple Davis Foundation. She has been awarded the Virginia Faulkner Prize for Excellence in Writing and the Readers's Choice Award from Prairie Schooner. Her reviews and review-essays appear frequently in The American Poetry Review, where she was, in Spring 2004, the featured poet.
Recent service to the profession includes judging The John Ciardi Prize, The Prairie Schooner First Book Award in Poetry, and The Benjamin Saltman Prize from Red Hen Press. In addition, Becker serves as Poetry Editor and Contributing Editor for The Women's Review of Books. In 2000, she won the George W. Atherton III Award for Excellence in Teaching, a university-wide prize offered annually by the Pennsylvania State University. In 2001, Becker served as Artist-in-Residence at the Frick Art & Historical Center in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. She has taught every summer, since 1999, at the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, Massachusetts.
“Robin Becker’s Backtalk makes us think back. The dialogues are exciting and there is a lot to look at. You may meet yourself in her book, with Becker standing over your shoulder, holding both her magnifying glass and mirror before you.”
—Off Our Backs
“Robin Becker’s poems tell truths of a special kind. Most of us know them already—in our gut and groin. Becker ‘talks’ from the ‘back’ of love, about those undervalued, repressed feelings that lovers often have difficulty being upfront about. These poems are like one half of a dialogue, social communication rather than solitary contemplations. People almost always occasion them; they are written to or about someone.”
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