Charles Simic has been hailed as one of America's finest poets. Born May 9, 1938, in Belgrade, Yugoslavia, he arrived in America when he was 16 to rejoin his father in New York City. They moved to Oak Park shortly after that.
Simic lived in the community from 1955 to 1962 and attended Oak Park River Forest High School. According to Simic in a later interview with the Cortland Review, his interest in writing took off "When I noticed in high school that one of my friends was attracting the best looking girls by writing them sappy love poems."
After graduation from high school in 1956, he worked a full-time job as an office boy with the Chicago Sun Times while attending college at night.
Simic is the author of more than 60 books, and his work has won numerous prestigious awards, including: the Pulitzer Prize in Poetry in 1990 for his book of prose-poems The World Doesn't End, and the coveted MacArthur Foundation "genius grant" in 1984-89. He was a finalist for the National Book Award in poetry, 1996, for Walking the Black Cat .
In 1995, Simic was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the highest formal recognition of artistic merit in the United States. Simic was honored by OPRF High School with a Tradition of Excellence Award in 1991.
He is professor emeritus of American literature and creative writing at the University of New Hampshire. Simic was appointed the fifteenth Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress in 2007.
MacArthur Fellowship (1984-1989)
Pulitzer Prize for Poetry (1990)
Wallace Stevens Award (2007)