B. H. Fairchild

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

B.H. Fairchild (born 1942) is an American poet and former college professor. His most recent book is The Blue Buick (W.W. Norton, 2014), and his poems have appeared in literary journals and magazines including The New Yorker, The Paris Review, The Southern Review, Poetry, TriQuarterly, The Hudson Review, Salmagundi, The Sewanee Review. His third poetry collection, The Art of the Lathe, winner of the 1997 Beatrice Hawley Award (Alice James Books, 1998), brought Fairchild's work to national prominence, garnering him a large number of awards and fellowships including the William Carlos Williams Award, Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award, California Book Award, Natalie Ornish Poetry Award, PEN Center USA West Poetry Award, National Book Award (finalist), Capricorn Poetry Award,[1] and Rockefeller and Guggenheim fellowships. The book ultimately gave him international prominence, as The Way Weiser Press in England published the U.K. edition of the book. The Los Angeles Times wrote that "The Art of the Lathe by B.H. Fairchild has become a contemporary classic—a passionate example of the plain style, so finely crafted and perfectly pitched...workhorse narratives suffused with tenderness and elegiac music."[2]

Fairchild has written that a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts was vital to his career as a poet: "It's very simple: without an NEA Fellowship in 1989-90, I would not have been able to complete my second book, Local Knowledge, nor have had the necessary time to compose the core poems for The Art of the Lathe, my third book, which, I am proud to say, received the Kingsley Tufts Award and was a finalist for the National Book Award, thus bringing my work to a wider audience than the immediate members of my family and also, therefore, making future work possible."[3]

He was born in Houston, Texas, and grew up in small towns in the oil fields of Oklahoma, Texas, and Kansas, later working through high school and college for his father, a lathe machinist.[4] He taught English and Creative Writing at California State University, San Bernardino [5] and Claremont Graduate University. He lives in Claremont, California with his wife, Patti, and dog, Minnie. As of 2011, it has been announced that Fairchild will teach at The University of North Texas.


Full-Length Poetry Collections

  • The Blue Buick: New and Selected Poems (W. W. Norton, 2014)
  • Usher (W. W. Norton, 2009)
  • Local Knowledge (W. W. Norton, 2005, second edition)
  • Early Occult Memory Systems of the Lower Midwest (W. W. Norton, 2003)
  • The Arrival of the Future (Alice James Books, 2000, second edition)
  • The Art of the Lathe (Alice James Books, 1998)
  • Local Knowledge (Quarterly Review of Literature, Princeton, NJ, 1991)
  • The Arrival of the Future (illustrated by Ross Zirkle, Swallow's Tale Press, 1985; Livingston Publishing, 1985)


  • The System of Which the Body Is One Part (State Street Press, 1988)
  • Flight (Devil's Millhopper Press, 1985)
  • C & W Machine Works (Trilobite Press, 1983)

Special Editions

  • Trilogy, with an introduction by Paul Mariani and engravings by Barry Moser. (Pennyroyal Press, 2008)

Literary Criticism

  • Such Holy Song: Music as Idea, Form, and Image in the Poetry of William Blake (Kent State University Press, 1980)

Honors and awards[edit]


  1. ^ Waywiser Press > Author Page: B.H. Fairchild, The Art of the Lathe Archived 2006-11-09 at the Wayback Machine, accessed October 29, 2006
  2. ^ "Alice James Books > B.H. Fairchild Author Page". Archived from the original on 2009-09-26. Retrieved 2009-12-10.
  3. ^ National Endowment for the Arts Web > Features: Writer's Corner: B.H. Fairchild Archived 2006-10-01 at the Wayback Machine, accessed October 29, 2006
  4. ^ Mariani, Paul A Conversation with B.H. Fairchild, from Image magazine, Fall 2005, reprinted by Poetry Daily Archived 2006-11-13 at the Wayback Machine, accessed October 29, 2006
  5. ^ Claremont Graduate University > Faculty > Emeritus
  6. ^ a b "NEA Literature Fellowships > Forty Years of Supporting American Writers" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2006-09-23. Retrieved 2009-07-03.
  7. ^ National Book Critics Circle > All Past Winners and finalists
  8. ^ "Rockefeller Foundation 2000 Annual Report > Residencies (Fellowship Recipients)" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2007-02-21. Retrieved 2009-12-10.
  9. ^ John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation > Current Fellows > Search Fellows > B.H. Fairchild