Charles Simic was born on May 9, 1938, in Belgrade, Yugoslavia. In 1954 he emigrated from Yugoslavia with his mother and brother to join his father in the United States. His first poems were published in 1959, when he was twenty-one. In 1961 he was drafted into the U.S. Army, and in 1966 he earned his Bachelor’s degree from New York University.
His first full-length collection of poems, What the Grass Says, was published the following year. Since then he has published more than sixty books in the U.S. and abroad, twenty titles of his own poetry among them, including That Little Something (Harcourt, 2008), My Noiseless Entourage (2005); Selected Poems: 1963-2003 (2004), for which he received the 2005 International Griffin Poetry Prize; The Voice at 3:00 AM: Selected Late and New Poems (2003); Night Picnic (2001); The Book of Gods and Devils (2000); and Jackstraws (1999), which was named a Notable Book of the Year by the New York Times.
Simic was appointed the fifteenth Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry in 2007.