Hayden Carruth wrote in obscurity and poverty before being recognized as one of the most powerful voices in contemporary poetry. Born in Connecticut in 1921, he served in the air force during World War II and earned his MA from the University of Chicago in 1948. After a nervous breakdown in 1953, Carruth moved to rural Vermont, where he immersed himself in the manual labor that profoundly shaped his poetry. His work includes more than thirty books, and in 1992 he was awarded the National Book Critics Circle Award for poetry. Carruth died in New York in 2008.