Robert O. Lawton Distinguished Professor of English at FSU
David Kirby’s collection The House on Boulevard St.: New and Selected Poems was a finalist for the National Book Award in 2007. Kirby is the author of 34 books on various topics, including Little Richard: The Birth of Rock ‘n’ Roll, which the Times Literary Supplement of London called “a hymn of praise to the emancipatory power of nonsense” and was named one of Booklist’s Top 10 Black History Non-Fiction Books of 2010. He teaches at Florida State University, where he has won five university teaching awards and is the Robert O. Lawton Distinguished Professor of English. Kirby has won fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts, and recently the Florida Humanities Council presented him with a Lifetime Achievement Award in Writing. He is married to the poet and fiction writer Barbara Hamby, and his latest poetry collection is More Than This.
Once again, Florida State University’s Robert O. Lawton Distinguished Professor of English—author or co-author of 29 books, hundreds of articles and individual poems, and dozens of book reviews for the New York Times—has landed on the short list for a major literary prize. Kirby has been selected as one of five finalists for the 2007 National Book Award for Poetry for his latest collection, The House on Boulevard St.: New and Selected Poems.
David Kirby’s illusionistic poetics are like a ha-ha, which is not a joke but a landscape trick – used to keep cows at a picturesque distance from the manor house. The formal appearance of this poet’s stanzaic patterns – so chaste and well-behaved and structurally deft – support the genial but disruptive spirit of these narrative performances.
David Kirby’s career at Florida State University has been framed by words – which is characteristic of the acclaimed scholar, national award-winning poet, author, reviewer, and current Robert O. Lawton Distinguished Professor of English. To honor the [50-year teaching] milestone, English Department chairman Gary Taylor announced the establishment of The David Kirby Graduate Fellowship in Creative Writing.