American poet and 2011 U.S. Poet Laureate who wrote about the Detroit working class. For his 1992 poetry collection, What Work Is, he won the National Book Award for Poetry.
He was born into a family of Jewish immigrants and began working in a Detroit car factory at age fourteen.
He received the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry for The Simple Truth, a collection published in 1994.
He was married to Patty Kanterman from 1951-1953. Later, he wed performer Frances J. Artle.
He took literature classes at the University of Iowa, where he was mentored by John Berryman.