Poet and editor Grace Schulman was born in 1935 in New York City, studying at Bard College, American University, and New York University, where she earned her PhD. She is distinguished professor of English at Baruch College, CUNY, and served as the poetry editor of the Nation from 1972 to 2006. She also directed the 92nd Street Y Poetry Center from 1973 to 1985. She has published six collections of poetry, including Days of Wonder: New and Selected Poems (2002) and The Broken String (2007). When Schulman was a teenager she was introduced to Marianne Moore, who had a profound effect on her poetics. Schulman wrote on the poet in a critical study, Marianne Moore: The Poetry of Engagement (1986), and edited The Poems of Marianne Moore (2004).
Typically written in a lucid free verse that occasionally reaches vatic heights, Schulman’s subjects encompass art, history, and faith. Schulman’s history is usually that of her beloved New York City, where she has lived and worked as a dedicated poetry advocate all her life. Earthly moments and details of city life constantly suggest larger spiritual questions. She names Gerald Manley Hopkins, John Donne, Shakespeare, Dante, Whitman, and Moore as her influences. Poet Ron Slate has described Schulman as “not only a poet of praise, but one who addresses the grounding questions of this mode. How and why do we find beauty in adversity?”
Schulman has received numerous awards for her work, including the Delmore Schwartz Memorial Award, the Aiken Taylor Award for poetry, and Pushcart prizes. She has received fellowships from the New York Foundation of the Arts and the Guggenheim Foundation. Her work has been published the Nation, the New Yorker, and numerous other magazines and journals, and appeared in The Best of the Best American Poetry 1988–1998. Schulman is married to the scientist Jerome L. Schulman and lives in New York City.Schulman’s collection of essays, First Loves and Other Adventures, a book that reflects on her life as a writer and reader, was published in 2010.