Born: June 13, 1940
Ohio connection: Birth
David Budbill was born in Cleveland in 1940 to a streetcar driver and a minister's daughter. He is the author of several books of poems, plays, a novel, short stories, a picture book for children, dozens of essays, introductions, speeches and book reviews, the libretto for an opera and is a performance poet on two CDs. He was for a time a commentator on National Public Radio's All Things Considered. His play Judevine, which is based on the book, has now been produced over 50 times in 24 states. The 1990 American Conservatory Theatre Production in San Francisco won the Bay Area Critics Circle Award for Best Ensemble Performance for that year. David is also the creator and editor of The Judevine Mountain Emailite: a Cyberzine: an On-Line and On-Going Journal of Politics and Opinion, which is available on his web site. In 2000 David wrote the libretto for an opera, with music by composer Erik Nielsen called A Fleeting Animal: An Opera from Judevine, which is based on two characters from the Judevine poems. A Fleeting Animal premiered in Vermont in October of 2000 to rave reviews and packed houses.
Kirkus Choice Books, 1974, for Christmas Tree Farm, and c. 1976, for Snowshoe Trek to Otter Farm; Dorothy Canfield Fisher Award for fiction, 1978; Guggenheim fellowship in poetry, 1981; playwriting fellowship, Judevine: The Complete Poems was selected as one of the best books of poems of 1991 by Booklist; A National Endowment for the Arts Play Writing Fellowship in 1991, a Guggenheim Fellowship in Poetry in 1981. In 2002 the Vermont Arts Council gave David the Walter Cerf Award for Lifetime Achievement in the Arts.