Frederick Seidel Biography

Frederick Seidel (born February 19, 1936) is an American poet.
Seidel was born to a family of Russian Jewish descent in St. Louis, Missouri in 1936. His family owned Seidel Coal and Coke who supplied coal to the brewing industry in St. Louis. Seidel graduated from St. Louis Country Day School and earned his A.B. at Harvard University in 1957. Archibald MacLeish arranged for Seidel to take a leave of absence from Harvard so he could travel around Europe. In Europe Seidel spent time in Paris (where he took a virtual vow of silence for three months) and visited Oxford and Cambridge in England, where he met T. S. Eliot in London.

Seidel corresponded with Ezra Pound in his youth and visited Pound at St. Elizabeths Hospital. Despite not understanding the Chinese language, Seidel suggested corrections to Pound's translations of Confucius, The Unwobbling Pivot, which Pound accepted. After university Seidel moved with his wife to West Gloucester, Massachusetts, and then to Paris after Seidel became the Parisian editor of the The Paris Review in 1961. He lives on the Upper West Side of Manhattan in New York City.