(1927 - ) American poet, translator, and novelist. Kinnell is a poet of dark, tragic intensity. He acknowledges Walt Whitman and W. B. Yeats as his inspirations: Whitman for his ability to find the sacred in the ordinary and Yeats for his imagery and symbolism. Kinnell ' s own work eschews abstraction in favor of a fiercely personal expressiveness. In Body Rags (1968) and The Book of Nightmares (1971) he explores the primitive states of human consciousness, the mysterious struggle of the birth process, and man's dreadful journeys into nightmare. The Avenue Bearing the Initial of Christ into the New World (1974) is a collection of poems written between 1946 and 1964. The title is taken from a highly acclaimed poem that appeared in Kinnell's first collection, What a Kingdom It Was (1960). Kinnell's views on poetry, presented in a series of interviews, are contained in Walking Down the Stairs (1978). Mortal Acts, Mortal Words (1980) is a volume of poetry.