2011 McArthur Fellow Alicia Elizabeth Stallings is an American poet, and also a renowned translator of the poems of others. From an early age, Stallings was captivated by classical civilizations, and studied Classics at the University of Georgia before crossing the pond to study for a masters degree in Latin literature at Lady Margaret Hall College in Oxford, England, the "dreaming spires" of the historical town giving her much inspiration for her own writing.
Soon it was not enough just to study th ancient civilizations; Stallings moved to Athens, Greece, in 1999, where she still lives today, overseeing the poetry program at the Athens Center.
A poet usually renowned for the precision and strict adherence to strict meter, Stallings' later work has delighted critics because she has included free verse, giving her poems more freedom than was previously there. Critics had also been rather negative about her tendency to re-work ancient and classical mythology in her work, but when her second volume of poems was published, it was the poems that Stallings had built herself that received the most acclaim,
Stallings is generally considered a New Formalist; New Formalism is a movement amongst poets that has reintroduced metrical and rhyming verse. This has not always been popular with more traditional poets, calling their New Formalist colleagues "yuppie poets". However, it was actually a reaction to some of the poetry that had been written in the 1980s, which lacked any real feeling, creation of emotion, or the use of any kind of poetic tool at all. As more and more poets reintroduced rhyme and meter into their work the movement itself seemed to wind down, leaving poets such as Stallings free to experiment with both structured and free verse.
Stallings is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and was a finalist for the National Book Critics Award in 2012.