Marvin Bell has been called "an insider who thinks like an outsider," and his writing has been called "ambitious without pretension." Bell was for many years Flannery O'Connor Professor of Letters at the Iowa Writers' Workshop. He served two terms as the state of Iowa's first Poet Laureate.
He has collaborated with composers, musicians, dancers, and other writers, and is the originator of the form known as the "Dead Man" poem.
His 24 books include Vertigo: The Living Dead Man Poems, A Primer About the Flag (for children), After the Fact: Scripts & Postscripts (with Christopher Merril), and Whiteout (with Nathan Lyons).
His literary honors include awards from the Academy of American Poets, the American Academy of Arts and Letters and the American Poetry Review, Guggenheim and NEA fellowships, and Senior Fulbright appointments to Yugoslavia and Australia. See an extensive interview with Marvin Bell about writing and teaching here.