The Poet and the Poem
Featured Michael Lally
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Born in Orange NJ, 1942, youngest of seven in Irish-American clan of priests, politicians, and cops; began political activism for Civil Rights and reading poetry in bars and coffee houses in ’59; ran for sheriff of Johnson County, Iowa, on Peace & Freedom ticket ’68; BA and MFA from U. of Iowa’s Writers Workshop on G.I. Bill, after four years in military. 30 books since 1970 including the latest, Another Way To Play: Poems 1960-2017; awards include 92nd St. Y Poetry Center’s Discovery Award for The South Orange Sonnets; National Endowment for the Arts Poetry Fellowships 1974 and ‘81 (after the latter the poem “My Life” was denounced as “pornography” on the floor of Congress by Republicans in their first attempt to eliminate the NEA); 1997 PEN Oakland Josephine Miles Award for “Excellence in Literature” for Cant Be Wrong; 2000 American Book Award for It’s Not Nostalgia. Day jobs have included jazz pianist, book critic (The Washington Post, The Village Voice etc.), TV and movie actor (NYPD Blue, Deadwood, White Fang, etc.), screenwriter and script doctor (Drugstore Cowboy, Pump Up the Volume, etc.). Writes the blog Lally’s Alley.