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McClatchy, J.D. (b. 1945 )  
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McClatchy also has written accomplished poems in such unusual and demanding structural and metrical forms as sestinas, villanelles, canzones, haiku, trimeters, and poems in syllabics. Writing about his pantoum (a Malaysian form of quatrains in which the second and fourth lines are repeated as the first and third lines of the following quatrain) "The Method" (Stars Principal), McClatchy mentions his childhood love of poetry and puzzles. He remarks that "a preference for form is temperamental, a part of one's character before any formal steps are taken." In his case, he prefers "smudged" forms, in which the neurosis of repetition is slightly altered (as it is in "The Method").

Literary Friendships

Hazmat contains the long poem "Ouija," which is a tribute to the late poet James Merrill, one of McClatchy's closest friends and a poet who is often seen as a major influence on McClatchy's early writing. "Ouija" plays on the supernatural world Merrill invoked in his epic The Changing Light at Sandover (1982). McClatchy knew Merrill from 1972 until his death in 1995 and serves as his literary executor.

McClatchy's other literary friendships over the years have included Robert Penn Warren, Anne Sexton, Robert Lowell, John Hollander, and Richard Howard, as well as Corn. The first poets to whom he showed his work, besides Corn, were Merrill and Howard.


McClatchy's numerous honors include the Witter Bynner Award for Poetry awarded by the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Academy of American Poets. He has served as the chancellor of the Academy of American Poets. Now Professor of English at Yale and editor of The Yale Review, he has also taught at Princeton, Columbia, UCLA, Johns Hopkins, and other universities. He currently divides his time between a home in Stonington, Connecticut, and an apartment in New York City.

McClatchy is also one of the most prolific editors and anthologists working today, with nearly twenty volumes to his name, including Poets in Painters: Essays on the Art of Painting by Twentieth-Century Poets (1988); Bright Pages: Yale Writers 1701-2001 (2001); The Collected Poems of James Merrill, co-edited with Stephen Yenser (2001), and The Vintage Book of Contemporary American Poetry (2003).

McClatchy's poetry has earned him praise as a writer of probing intellect and emotional acuity. In addition, he is a poet with deep insight into the nature of desire, especially the complexities of gay male desire.

Christopher Matthew Hennessy

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Hall, Daniel. "The Art of Poetry, LXXXIV: J.D. McClatchy." Paris Review 44 (2002): 158-97.

Hennessy, Christopher. "Forbidden Paradises: An Interview with J.D. McClatchy." Lambda Book Report 11 (2003): 12-15.

"J.D. McClatchy." Contemporary Authors. (New Revision Series). Scot Peacock, ed. Farmington Hills, Mich.: Gale, 2002. 302-06.

McClatchy, J.D. "The Method." Ecstatic Occasions, Expedient Forms. David Lehman, ed. New York: Macmillan, 1987. 130-32.

Stein, Lorin. "Confessions of a Poet: A Profile of J.D. McClatchy." Poets & Writers Magazine (January/February 1998): 30-41.


    Citation Information
    Author: Hennessy, Christopher Matthew  
    Entry Title: McClatchy, J.D.  
    General Editor: Claude J. Summers  
    Publication Name: glbtq: An Encyclopedia of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual,
Transgender, and Queer Culture
    Publication Date: 2004  
    Date Last Updated November 3, 2013  
    Web Address  
    Publisher glbtq, Inc.
1130 West Adams
Chicago, IL   60607
    Today's Date  
    Encyclopedia Copyright: © 2002-2006, glbtq, Inc.  
    Entry Copyright © 2004, glbtq, inc.  


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