Hayden Carruth was born in Waterbury, Connecticut, and was educated at the University of North Carolina and the University of Chicago. He taught at Syracuse University for many years and has worked for several literary magazines, including as the editor of Poetry magazine. He has published over thirty books of poetry and criticism, and has been awarded several top prizes. Much of his poetry, including "The Bearer," is set in Northern Vermont, a setting with which Carruth often mixes his radical political beliefs. He frequently combines rural life with verbal resourcefulness, strongly influenced by jazz and blues music.
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"I understand the expression and understanding and recitation of the POL poems, but it was more that I didn't realize how much this opportunity would mean to me, or how much it would impact how I feel about my future ... I feel my blood running and heart pounding each time I think of my POL poems and teaching them to people."