- 1969/70 Shelley Memorial Award from the Poetry Society of America.
- 1980 Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship
- 1984 Pulitzer Prize for Poetry for American Primitive
- 1992 National Book Award for Poetry for New and Selected Poems
- 1998 Lannan Literary Award for poetry
- 1998 Honorary Doctorate from The Art Institute of Boston
- 2007 Honorary Doctorate Dartmouth College
- 2008 Honorary Doctorate Tufts University
- 2012 Honorary Doctorate from Marquette University
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