Born in 1934 on Prince Edward Island, Canada, Mark Strand’s artistic career was secondary to his primary occupation as a poet and novelist. After spending his childhood in Canada, Strand spent a considerable amount of his adolescence in Central and South America.
Strand eared his B.F.A. in 1959 from Yale University where he studied under Josef Albers and Bernard Chaet. In the years following, Strand lived in Florence where he studied 19th Century Italian poetry on a U.S.-Italy Fulbright Commission scholarship. Strand would spend the rest of his life writing literature, primarily in the United States. In 1999, he was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry.
Upon graduating Yale with a B.F.A. and going on to become one of America’s greatest poets, Strand continued to produce prints, paintings, and collages. Strand admitted that he often created art as a means to escape from his literary writing. When describing his artistic process Strand is quoted having said, “it is an entirely different kind of thinking, one in which language does not intrude.” Spontaneity has influenced both his art and writing, as he emphasizes the role of the unexpected and unanticipated in both.