Galway Kinnell was born in Providence, Rhode Island. After two years of service in the U.S. Navy, he completed his undergraduate studies at Princeton and earned a graduate degree at the University of Rochester. He published many books over his long career. His book, Selected Poems (1980), received both the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award. Kinnell served as a Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets. Often focusing on the claims of nature and society on the individual, his poems explore psychological states in precise and sonorous free verse.