ARTHUR GREGOR, born in Vienna, fled with his family to the United States at the outbreak of World War II, eventually settling in New York. After serving as a senior editor in the trade department of The Macmillan Company during the 1960s, he joined the English faculty at Hofstra University, where he set up Creative Writing and Publishing Studies programs and was, for seven years before his retirement in 1995, Poet-in-Residence. Since his first appearance in POETRY in 1947, for which he was awarded the magazine’s First Appearance Prize, his poems have been published widely in most of the leading outlets for poetry. For the past twenty years he has spent part of the year in France’s Loire Valley, and in 1998 moved from New York to Paris. Gregor is the author of eleven books of poetry (including Embodiment, Secret Citizen, and That Other Side of Things), a memoir, three children’s books, and three plays.
"I find the book's central poem 'The Poem of Heaven Within' a consummation of all that Arthur Gregor has stood for. A rhapsody, a fervent meditation, all of it almost derived in one sustained breath. I am reminded of Stevens, especially moments in 'Sunday Morning,' Eliot in the Four Quartets, and behind them the spiritual reach of Dante. A poem so undeviating, so resolute, before its impulse and its purpose would be extraordinary at any time, but it is especially remarkable now when the daily and reductive hold sway."—Theodore Weiss
"For thirty years Arthur Gregor has been writing poems that have moved ever more firmly and beautifully toward the expression of spiritual awareness. Yet he has never relied on conventional religious terms . . . Gregor himself is creating an archetype, a primal image. His poetry is strictly his own, the lucidity a real triumph."—Hayden Carruth