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Charles North was born in New York City in 1941. He has degrees from Tufts and Columbia, briefly attended Harvard Law School, and worked in publishing for several years. He began writing poetry in his mid-twenties.
North's ten books of poems include The Nearness of the Way You Look Tonight (2001); Complete Lineups (2009); and What It Is Like: New and Selected Poems (2011), which headed NPR's Best Poetry Books of the Year. He has two essay collections, No Other Way (1998) and States of the Art (forthcoming, 2017), and has collaborated with artists and other poets including Trevor Winkfield, Tony Towle, and Paula North. In the 1970s he reviewed for Art in America, and with James Schuyler he edited the poet/painter anthologies Broadway (1979) and Broadway 2 (1989); with Tony Towle he edited Paul Violi's The Tame Magpie (2014) and Selected Poems (2014). From 1976–1982 he and Violi were co-editors/publishers of The Swollen Magpie Press.
North's honors include two National Endowment for the Arts Fellowships, four Fund for Poetry awards, and a Foundation for Contemporary Arts Individual Grants to Artists Award. He lives in New York City and is Poet-in-Residence at Pace University.