Grace Schulman
Grace Schulman

Acclaimed Poet, Professor Retires from Baruch

This past November, Baruch bid a fond farewell to Distinguished Professor of English and award-winning poet Grace Schulman, PhD, upon her retirement from the College. Dr. Schulman’s send-off also served as a celebration of her ninth book and eighth volume of poetry, Again, The Dawn: New and Selected Poems, 1976–2022.

Schulman is best known for her prolific and esteemed writing career, which has earned her multiple awards including the Frost Medal for Distinguished Lifetime Achievement in American Poetry and election to the American Academy of Arts and Letters. Within Baruch, Schulman had been a hallmark and beloved member of the College community for 50 years.

The Sidney Harman Writer-in-Residence program, which resides within the Weissman School of Arts and Sciences, hosted her retirement celebration and featured speeches from Weissman Dean Jessica Lang, faculty members within the English department, Schulman’s former students, collaborators, and other friends who all praised the poet’s humility, talent, and dedication to craft.

“Grace’s editorial feedback on my poetry had me humbled so quickly,” Pooka Paik, a former student of Schulman’s, said. “She chewed my work out, and I loved every single moment.”

The evening also highlighted the respect other artists have for Schulman by spotlighting the poet’s collaborations with composers. Journalism Professor Eugene Marlow worked with Schulman on his 2019 album, Blue in Green, a collection of original jazz compositions inspired by her poetry, and played three songs for the audience. “I think Grace is the Mozart of poets because it seems to come out of her whole,” Marlow said.

While many shared their affection for Schulman, the poet also took time to read some of her own works as well as express admiration for both her time at Baruch and the written word in general. “Human feelings are complicated,” she said, “and poetry aims to complicate the senses, not pamper them.”

Though she retired from Baruch, the poet shows no signs of slowing down and plans on spending her increased free time on writing more. When asked how she has maintained a creative energy throughout her career, Schulman replied: “Follow your bliss. If you’re doing what you love, there’s lots of energy in that.”

Molly Turner

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