It’s the birthday of the poet Marvin Bell (books by this author), born in Center Moriches, a farming community on the south shore of Long Island (1937). After a stint in the Army, he returned home in 1966 and published his first book of poetry, Things We Dreamt We Died For, to critical acclaim. Ten years later, he published Stars Which See, Stars Which Do Not See, which was a finalist for the National Book Award. Bell went on to teach at the Iowa Writers’ Workshop for 40 years, and served as Iowa’s first poet laureate in 2000.
Marvin Bell said, “Much of our lives involves the word ‘no.’ In school we are mostly told, ‘Don’t do it this way. Do it that way.’ But art is the big yes. In art, you get a chance to make something where there was nothing.”