Ron Padgett ~ And Truly

We use italics
to put elec­tric­i­ty into words.
Then we plug lamps
into the words.
That’s how we light our homes.


Ron Padgett grew up in Tulsa in 1942 and has lived most­ly in New York City since 1960. Among his many hon­ors are a Guggenheim Fellowship, a Civitella Ranieri Fellowship, the American Academy of Arts and Letters poet­ry award, the Shelley Memorial Award, the Robert Creeley Award, and grants from the National Endowment for the Arts. The French gov­ern­ment made him an Officer in the Order of Arts and Letters. Padgett’s How Long was Pulitzer Prize final­ist in poet­ry and his Collected Poems won the LA Times Prize for the best poet­ry book of 2014 and the William Carlos Williams Award from the Poetry Society of America. For many years he taught poet­ry writ­ing to chil­dren. He is also a trans­la­tor of twen­ti­eth-cen­tu­ry French poets Guillaume Apollinaire, Pierre Reverdy, and Blaise Cendrars. His own work has been trans­lat­ed into eigh­teen lan­guages. Padgett’s most recent poet­ry col­lec­tion, Alone and Not Alone (with a cov­er by Jim Dine), makes a brief appear­ance in Paterson. Both Padgett and Jim Jarmusch stud­ied under poet Kenneth Koch at Columbia University. For more infor­ma­tion, go to