Alice Notley was born in Bisbee, Arizona, went to Barnard and Iowa (MFA, 1969). She married the writer Ted Berrigan in 1972, with whom she had two sons, one of whom grew up and became for a short period the manager of Small Press Traffic. Now married to the British poet Doug Oliver, she lives in Paris, like Olivia de Havilland. Like her actress counterpart, she radiates strength, inner beauty, quiet dignity and warmth. She's many things to many people, and her books include When I Was Alive, Waltzing Matilda, Doctor Williams' Heiresses, How Spring Comes, a book of Selected Poems, The Descent of Alette and the new Mysteries of Small Houses. No poet of her generation has so captured the heart and imagination of the young writers of today, both for her dedication to poetry and for her ground-shifting and -breaking mutability, from domestic to epic and back again somewhere else.

October 22, 1998