Biography of Tom Sleigh
Tom Sleigh (/sleɪ/) is an American poet, dramatist, essayist and academic, who lives in New York City. He has published seven books of original poetry, one full-length translation of Euripides' Herakles and a book of essays. At least five of his plays have been produced. He has won numerous awards, including the 2008 Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award, worth $100,000, an Academy Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, The Shelley Award from the Poetry Society of America, and a Guggenheim Foundation grant. He currently serves as director of Hunter College's Master of Fine Arts (MFA) program in Creative Writing. He is the recipient of the Anna-Maria Kellen Prize and Fellow at the American Academy in Berlin for Fall 2011.
Tom Sleigh was born in Mount Pleasant, Texas, where he lived until the age of five, when he moved to Utah. He lived in Utah until seventh grade, when he moved to California. He attended the California Institute of the Arts, Evergreen State College, and the Writing Seminars Johns Hopkins University for two years, where he graduated with an MA. In his mid-twenties he moved to Massachusetts, to work at the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown. He began teaching at Dartmouth College in 1986 and later taught at New York University, the University of Iowa, UC-Berkeley and Johns Hopkins University. He lives in Brooklyn, New York, and serves as director of the Hunter College Master of Fine Arts Program in Creative Writing, where he also teaches poetry writing.
On the Platform
The omen I didn't know I was waiting for
pulled into the station the same instant as the train.
It was just a teenage boy busking on the platform,
cello cutting through garble, Bach's repetitions
hard-edged as a scalpel probing an open wound.
But then I kept thinking how a sound wave
travels the path of least resistance,
how the notes rebound off steel and stone