An American poet born in 1951, Graham has published 8 books of poetry. She won the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry in 1996 for her book The Dream of the Unified Field: Selected Poems 1974-1994. She currently teaches at Harvard University.
Here's a bit of Graham's perspective on poetry, excerpted from her introduction to The Best American Poetry 1990 (Scribner Poetry, 1990):
Poetry can...be difficult...because much of it attempts to render aspects of experience that occur outside the provinces of logic and reason, outside the realm of narrative realism. The ways in which dreams proceed, or magic, or mystical vision, or memory, are often models for poetry's methods: what we remember upon waking, what we remember at birth--all the brilliant Irrational in the human sensibility. Poetry describes, enacts, is compelled by those moments of supreme passion, insight or knowledge that are physical yet intuitive, that render us whole, inspired.
She goes on to write that "an essential aspect of the activity of poetry" is "...its permitting paradoxical, 'unsolvable' ideas to be explored, not merely nailed down, stored, and owned; in its permitting the soul-forging pleasures of thinking to prevail over the acquisition of information called knowing."
Short History of the West is an example of Graham's work.