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Poet, writer, editor and translator, Ron Padgett was born the son of a bootlegger in Tulsa, Oklahoma in 1942. While in high school, Padgett co-founded the little magazine The White Dove Review with friends Dick Gallup and Joe Brainard. In 1960 he moved to New York and studied at Columbia University with poets Kenneth Koch and F.W. Dupee. He translated 20th-century French literature in Paris on a Fulbright Fellowship from 1965 to 1966, settling in the East Village the following year with wife Patricia Mitchell and their newborn son.
For his poetry and translations, Padgett has received grants and awards from the National Endowment for the Arts, the New York State Council on the Arts, Columbia University's Translation Center and almost a dozen other institutions. In 2001, he was appointed "Officier dans l'Ordre des Arts et Lettres" by the French Ministry of Culture. His book publications include Poems I Guess I Wrote (2001), Oklahoma Tough (2003), Joe: A Memoir of Joe Brainard (2004), and Collected Poems (2013). How Long (2011) was a Pulitzer Prize Finalist for Poetry in 2012. A frequent reader and lecturer, Padgett was the publications director of the Teachers & Writers Collaborative for twenty years. He lives in New York.