Category Archives: Readings

Washington, DC Local Events: T.R. Hummer and Mike Mattison

Poet and musician T.R. Hummer spoke on the making of High Minded (2010)–an album by his band, AmeriCamera, that fuses poetry and music–at an ALSCW local meeting in Washington DC on February 8th. Hummer’s multi-media presentation was attended by an audience of over one-hundred, and hosted by Catholic University. Hummer is the author of fourteen books of poetry, two books of criticism, and is the former editor of the Kenyon Review and the Georgia Review. An accomplished saxophonist, Hummer was a member of the blues group Little Ronnie and the Grand Dukes, playing on their album, Young and Evil, which was released by Planetary Records in 2001.

https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems-and-poets/poets/detail/tr-hummer

T R Hummer 1

Two-time Grammy winner and author Mike Mattison lectured on Bob Dylan and blues verse composition at an ALSCW local meeting in Washington DC on February 22nd.  Over one-hundred attendees were treated to an evening of analysis and music. Mattison focused on Dylan’s work from Highway 61 Revisited (1965) to Self Portrait (1970), and discussed musical and poetic influences on the Nobel Prize winner’s art.  The event was hosted by Catholic University. Mattison is the co-curator of the feature “Hot Rocks: Songs and Verse” in Five Points: A Journal of Literature and Art, a member of the band Scrapomatic, and of the Tedeschi Trucks Band, which was in DC to play three sold out shows at the Warner Theater.

http://www.mikemattison.com

Mike Mattison 1

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Jean Valentine: New York Local Meeting, 28 November, 2016

img_2199Jean Valentine read at the ALSCW local meeting in New York City just now, on November 28, 2016, at Barnard, in an evening graciously co-sponsored by Saskia Hamilton and the program Women Poets at Barnard. The audience filled the handsome Sulzberger Parlor where, as Valentine noted, the portraits of earlier presidents of Barnard, thoughtful, formidable women, seemed also to be listening. Valentine read from her two most recent books, Break the Glass (2010) and Shirt in Heaven (2015), followed by new poems of quiet force and mystery.

The reading prompted first, a grateful hush, then questions and a lively discussion during which Valentine demonstrated how the Swedish poet Tomas Tranströmer once leapt over the back of a chair to join her and friends at a table at a restaurant. The formal question period flowed into an hour of festive eating, drinking, and clustered conversations, just the kind of fellowship the ALSCW is designed to create.

Here is the way I introduced Jean Valentine:
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“‘I lay down under language/ it left me and I slept,’ writes Jean Valentine in the poem “Open” in her recent book, Shirt in Heaven. Often Valentine writes as if she could conjure vision from a realm beyond words, as just as often she writes to commune with the dead in a realm beyond the life-death divide. But it is through words, in the beautiful ambiguity of that preposition, meaning beyond words but also in the medium of words, that Valentine makes her vision into experience for the reader.

The experiences are rich and multiple. Sometimes her poems summon a lost past into the present, as in one of my favorite poems, “Hawkins Stable,” from Break the Glass:

…Under the fields,
the dense, tongue of the cow–
and the horses’ eyes–

and the water from the hand-pump in the sink,
racing like horses.”

Sometimes she questions, radically, what it is to see:

Eye opened
slow
but what is slow”
(“The Valley, from Break the Glass)

Often the poems give a structure and pace for grieving:

She found her tongue on the floor
and paper-clipped it to

the kitchen calendar. This was back in the day
of Separation. Permanence.
(“Her Car,” from Break the Glass)

Sometimes the poems call out to and bring to imaginative life kindred artists: Joseph Cornell, John Cage, Merce Cunningham, Reginald Shepherd, Adrienne Rich, Antonin Artaud.

Mystical talk is cheap. Jean Valentine has brought enormous geological pressure and a fierce meditative discipline in language and dream-work to her visions, and in consequence she has made that rare thing, durable poetry.”

With warm thanks so Margaret Ducharme, Saskia Hamilton, and Phillis Levin who helped to arrange this evening.

– Rosanna Warren

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A Tribute to Geoffrey Hill

Thursday, November 10th, 7-8:30 pm

A TRIBUTE TO GEOFFREY HILL.
The Castle, 225 Bay State Road, Boston University.

Participants include Archie Burnett, David Ferry, Saskia Hamilton, Kenneth Haynes, George Kalogeris, Marcia Karp, Christopher Ricks, Jon Westling.

geoffrey-hill

?Geoffrey Hill (1932-2016) published his first full collection of poems, For the Unfallen: Poems 1952-1958, in 1959 (Andre Deutsch), followed by King Log (A. Deutsch, 1968) and Mercian Hymns (A. Deutsch, 1971), which received the Alice Hunt Bartlett Prize. Hill went on to publish numerous books of poems, including Broken Hierarchies: Poems, 1952–2012 (Oxford University Press, 2013); Odi Barbare (Clutag Press, 2012); The Orchards of Syon (Penguin Books, 2002); The Triumph of Love(Houghton Mifflin, 1998), winner of the Heinemann Book Award; Canaan (Penguin Books, 1996), winner of the Kahn Award; and Tenebrae (A. Deutsch, 1978). Hill also published several collections of essays, journal and periodical articles, prose, and an adaptation of Henrik Ibsen’s Brand (University of Minnesota Press, 1981). He received many honors and awards, including the Faber Memorial Prize, the Hawthornden Prize, the Loines Award of the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters, the T.S. Eliot Award for Creative Writing from the Ingersoll Foundation, and a Churchill fellowship at the University of Bristol.

A Professor of Poetry at the University of Oxford for fivey years, Hill was an honorary fellow of Keble College, Oxford, and Emmanuel College, Cambridge, a fellow of the Royal Society of Literature, London, and a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He taught at Emmanuel College, Boston and Cambridge Universities, and the Universities of Ibadan in Nigeria, Leeds, and Michigan at Ann Arbor. He also gave the Clark Lectures at Trinity College, Cambridge, and served as professor emeritus of English Literature and Religion and as co-director of the Editorial Institute at Boston University. In 2012, Hill was knighted for services to literature.

He died on June 30, 2016, at eighty-four years old.

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The Inaugural Singapore Literature Festival, NYC, 2014

 

For the first time ever, 15 Singaporean writers will converge on New York City from October 10 to 12, 2014, for the inaugural Singapore Literature Festival. They will read from locally and globally inspired works in various locations around Manhattan, including 92nd Street Y, Book Culture, McNally Jackson, and NYU’s Lilian VernonCreative Writers House.

Organized by a group of book-loving volunteers, the Singapore Literature Festival aims to showcase and build awareness of Singaporean writing among readers, editors, and publishing professionals in New York. The festival provides a wonderful opportunity to hear and engage with the most distinctive voices coming out of the city-state, which celebrates its 50th year of independence next year.

Straddling vital trade routes in Southeast Asia, Singapore was brought under British control in 1819 and became independent in 1965. Its citizens speak and write in English (the lingua franca), Chinese, Malay, and Tamil, reflecting the legacies of British rule and the country’s four main ethnic communities—the Chinese, Malays, Indians, and Eurasians.

Like New York City, Singapore is an economic and cultural hub. The city is the fourth largest financial center and the third most densely populated country in the world. As a multicultural metropolis, Singapore has provided a stimulating environment for writers to explore universal themes in specific local contexts. An authentic literature has flourished, but it is mostly unknown in New York City—until now.

Nine Singaporean writers will fly to New York City from halfway across the world to join six other Singaporean writers based in the United States. Together, their work represents the Singaporean sensibility—local yet cosmopolitan. Some of the featured writers include:

Haresh Sharma has written more than a hundred plays that have been staged all over the world in cities such as London, Glasgow, Birmingham and Cairo. He is the first non-American to be named Goldberg Master Playwright by New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts.

Wena Poon, the author of eight books, has had her works produced on the London stage and serialized on BBC Radio 4. She won the UK’s Willesden Herald Prize for best short fiction in 2010.

Alvin Pang’s poetry and fiction have been translated into over 15 languages. He represented Singapore at London’s Poetry Parnassus event alongside Kay Ryan, Seamus Heaney, and Wole Soyinka.

Alfian Sa’at’s award-winning poetry, plays, and fiction have been read and performed in London, Berlin, Hamburg, Munich, Zurich, Copenhagen, Stockholm, and Melbourne as well as in Singapore and Malaysia.

Cyril Wong is the recipient of the Singapore Literature Prize, the country’s highest literary honor, for poetry. His poems have been anthologized in various publications all over the world.

Cheryl Lu-Lien Tan is the author of A Tiger in the Kitchen: A Memoir of Food and Family (Hyperion, 2011). She has also written for The Wall Street Journal, The Baltimore Sun, and The New York Times.

Kirsten Chen’s debut novel, Soy Sauce for Beginners (New Harvest, 2014), was featured in USA Today’s “New Voices” and O, The Oprah Magazine.

Colin Goh and Yen Yen Woo are the husband-and-wife team behind Dim Sum Warriors, a graphic novel series about kung fu-fighting dumpling that has been featured in Publishers Weekly, Time, The New York Times, and BBC. They also wrote and directed the international award-winning film Singapore Dreaming and authored the bestselling Coxford Singlish Dictionary.

The other featured writers are Christine ChiaJason Erik LundbergJoshua IpPooja NansiTania De Rozario, andVerena Tay. For more information about all fifteen authors, visit: http://www.singaporeliteraturefestival.com/authors/

SPONSORSHIP

The Singapore Literature Festival is funded wholly by well wishers. A Kickstarter campaign exceeded its target by raising $7,790, with the support of 103 generous backers. Other monetary gifts made up the festival’s income. In addition, other sponsors have offered donations in kind, including Ethos Books, BooksActually, Landmark Books, University of Hawai’i Press, Ma?noa Books, El Leo?n Literary Arts, artist Boedi Widjaja, Plain Productions, Rasa Restaurant and Tiger Beer. McNally Jackson and Book Culture, two beloved New York City bookstores, are donating their venues for festival events. The writers receive partial funding from Singapore’s National Arts Council for their airfare. The fund-raising was truly multilateral.

ABOUT THE ORGANIZERS

The Singapore Literature Festival is conceived and planned by a group of Singaporean volunteers—writers and creatives—who are proud to call New York City home.

Co-Chairs: Paul Rozario-Falcone & Jee Leong Koh
Treasurer/Fund-raising: Damon Chua
Publicity: Kimberley Lim, Kenneth Lim & Kiat-Sing Teo
Graphics: Shellen TehVideo/Photography: Marcus Yi

Co-chairs Paul Rozario-Falcone and Jee Leong Koh believe that Singapore literature deserves international recognition and readership. As the publishing center of the English-speaking world, New York City cannot afford to overlook this vibrant literature. The festival hopes to deepen the dialogue between the two cities’ distinct, yet complementary, literary traditions.

For more information about the organizers, visit: http://www.singaporeliteraturefestival.com/about/

FESTIVAL PROGRAM & DETAILS

The three-day festival offers eight stimulating literary events from Friday to Sunday, October 10 – 12, 2014.

For full descriptions of the events, please consult the appendix below.

Five of the events are free. Of these five events, three are open to the public and two (the opening and closing parties) are by invitation only. Invitations may be requested by contacting info@singaporeliteraturefestival.com

The three ticketed events are held at 92nd Street Y on Saturday, October 11. Each ticket costs $10. The All Day Pass to all three events costs $25, with senior and student concession at $20.

Tickets to the 92nd Street Y events on October 11 can be purchased from the center’s box office at 212-415-5500 or on-line.

Rich Words / Poor Words at 2:00pm: http://www.92y.org/Event/rich-words-poor-words.aspx

The 21st Century Family at 3.30pm: http://www.92y.org/Event/The-21st-Century-Family.aspx

The Politics of Love at 5:00pm: http://www.92y.org/Event/The-Politics-of-Love.aspx

The All Day Pass to all three events: http://www.92y.org/subscriptions/series/detail.aspx?series=1509

CONTACT & LINKS

For press-related inquiries, please contact: Kimberley Lim, Publicity Chair info@singaporeliteraturefestival.com

Website: http://www.singaporeliteraturefestival.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/singaporeliteraturefestival
Twitter: https://twitter.com/SingLitFestNYC
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCrlTVsON_0U7qxA34YiVpTQ

2014 PROGRAM

Singapore Literature Festival Friday-Sunday, October 10 – 12, 2014

Thursday, October 9, 2014

1. Singapore and Freedom of Expression: a Soapbox Series roundtable discussion at Adelphi University (Pre-Festival Event; Free and Open to All)

Alfian Sa’at, Colin Goh, Haresh Sharma, Tania De Rozario and Yen Yen Woo, moderated by Martha Cooley and Craig Carson

Thursday, October 9, 3:00 – 4:30 pm, Adelphi University, Garden City, NY

 

Friday, October 10, 2014

2. Generations and Genres (Free and Open to All)

Cyril Wong, Haresh Sharma and Verena Tay, introduced by April Heck

Since 1965, the year of national independence, Singapore literature has developed into a vibrant and diverse corpus of writings. In this reading, writers from different generations read from their work in drama, fiction and poetry, and discuss the growth of the literary tradition. The reading is followed by a book signing, and a reception hosted by Writers House.

Friday, October 10, 2:00 – 4:00 pm, NYU’s Lillian Vernon Creative Writers House, 58 W 10th Street (bet. 5th and 6th Avenues), New York, NY

3. The Local Cosmopolitan (Opening Party – by invitation only)

Alfian Sa’at, Alvin Pang, Cheryl Lu-Lien Tan, Kirstin Chen and Wena Poon, introduced by Jason Koo

Friday, October 10, 7:00 – 9:00 pm, Book Culture Bookstore, 536 W 112th Street (bet. Broadway and Amsterdam Avenue), New York, NY

Can a writer be both cosmopolitan in outlook and local in orientation? Marking the official opening of the festival, this reading showcases work that travels between home and the world. The reading is followed by a book signing and a reception.

 

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Guest registration begins at 92nd Street Y

Saturday, October 11, 1:45 pm, 92nd Street Y, 1395 Lexington Avenue (at 92nd Street), New York, NY

4. Rich Words, Poor Words (Ticketed)

Cheryl Lu-Lien Tan, Joshua Ip and Wena Poon, introduced by Rohan Kamicheril

The growing divide between haves and have-nots is of concern around the world. How does language reinforce or bridge this divide? This reading explores the relationship between class, ethnicity and language. The writers will sign books after the reading.

Saturday, October 11, 2:00 – 3:00 pm, 92nd Street Y, 1395 Lexington Avenue (at 92nd Street), New York, NY

5. The Twenty-First Century Family (Ticketed)

Christine Chia, Colin Goh and Kirstin Chen, introduced by Monique Truong

From extended to nuclear to blended, the modern family is evolving in reaction to enormous social pressures and urgent individual needs. What will the twenty-first century family be like? The writers in this reading respond to the dynamics of this long revolution. The reading is followed by a book signing.

Saturday, October 11, 3:30 – 4:30 pm, 92nd Street Y, 1395 Lexington Avenue (at 92nd Street), New York, NY

6. The Politics of Love (Ticketed)

Cyril Wong, Pooja Nansi and Tania De Rozario, introduced by Don Weise

Be prepared to get hot under the collar. This reading introduces authors whose writings revolve around love, desire and relationships. The writers will sign books after the reading.

Saturday, October 11, 5:00 – 6:00 pm, 92nd Street Y, 1395 Lexington Avenue (at 92nd Street), New York, NY

7. Book Signing and Mingling (Entry by ticket to one of the 92Y events)

Alfian Sa’at, Alvin Pang, Cheryl Lu-Lien Tan, Christine Chia, Cyril Wong, Haresh Sharma, Jason Erik Lundberg, Joshua Ip, Kirstin Chen, Ovidia Yu, Pooja Nansi, Tania De Rozario, Verena Tay and Wena Poon

Saturday, October 11, 6:00 – 6:30 pm, 92nd Street Y, 1395 Lexington Avenue (at 92nd Street), New York, NY

 

Sunday, October 12, 2014

8. Reading Culture (Free and Open to All)

Christine Chia, Joshua Ip, Jason Erik Lundberg, Verena Tay and Yen Yen Woo, introducer to be announced

Books are mostly read in private. The sharing of books, however, builds reading communities. Through reviewing, re-imagining and re-telling, we become citizens of a republic of letters. Reading itself becomes the focus of this reading by writers deeply concerned with this most solitary of social actions. The writers will sign books after the reading.

Sunday, October 12, 2:00 – 4:00 pm, Book Culture Bookstore, 536 W 112th Street (bet. Broadway and Amsterdam Avenue), New York, NY

9. Encore (Closing Party – by invitation only)

Alfian Sa’at, Cheryl Lu-Lien Tan, Christine Chia, Cyril Wong, Haresh Sharma, Jason Erik Lundberg, Joshua Ip, Pooja Nansi, Tania De Rozario, Verena Tay and Wena Poon, introducer to be announced

Literature has its roots in the oral tradition, in song, gossip, lullaby, and prayer. This reading returns the written word to its magical, hopeful and inspirational spoken origins. The reading is followed by a book signing and a reception.

Sunday, October 12, 7:00 – 9:00 pm, McNally Jackson Bookstore, 52 Prince Street (bet. Lafayette and Mulberry Streets), New York, NY

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Three Talks by Christopher Ricks This Fall in Manhattan


Literature & All the Other Activities
Three Talks by Christopher Ricks

 

T. S. Eliot: “to exhibit the relations of literature—not to ‘life’ as something contrasted to literature, but to all the other activities, which, together with literature, are the components of life.”

7:30PM | THE KOSCIUSZKO FOUNDATION | 15 EAST 65th STREET, NYC

October 1  More than One Waste Land
October 8  The strength to force the moment to its crisis: Thomas Hardy and George Eliot
October 22  Just Like a Woman? Bob Dylan and the Charge of Misogyny

Christopher Ricks is a member of the Association of Literary Scholars, Critics, and Writers, of which he was president (2007-2008). Co-Director of the Editorial Institute at Boston University and Warren Professor of the Humanities, he was formerly a professor of English at the University of Bristol and at Cambridge. He was the Professor of Poetry at Oxford, 2004-2009. His Anthony Hecht Lectures in the Humanities were published by Yale in 2010 as True Friendship: Geoffrey Hill, Anthony Hecht, and Robert Lowell Under the Sign of Eliot and Pound. With Lisa Nemrow and Julie Nemrow, he has edited Bob Dylan, The Lyrics: Since 1962 (to be published by Simon & Schuster in November this year), and with Jim McCue The Poems of T. S. Eliot (two vols., Faber & Faber, 2015).

SINGLE TICKETS: $20
Admission Free for ALSCW Members*

Doors open at 6:45 PM | Space is limited
Latecomers will not be seated. Please notify the office of the ALSCW if you will not be using your ticket.


* ALSCW members are entitled to one free ticket to each event. All who wish to attend should reserve tickets using the online form (available here), by mailing the printable form (available here), or by contacting the Boston office. First come, first served.

If you join the Association today at the first-year rate of $45, you will be eligible for free admission to all three events. To join, or learn more about the benefits of membership, click here.

If you are unsure of your ALSCW membership status, please contact the Boston office to confirm your membership. If you select tickets at the Member Rate but are not currently a member of the Association, we will be unable to process your reservation until membership registration has been submitted. Thank you!

 

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Third Annual Literature in Translation Forum – August 24, 2012

On Friday August 24, 2012, Vermont Studio Center and the Association of Literary Scholars, Critics, and Writers will co-sponsor the third annual Literature in Translation Forum, presenting French poet Emmanuel Moses and his translator, poet Marilyn Hacker. The evening is open to the public and will include a talk, a joint bi-lingual reading, and a question and answer session.

From left: Antonello Borra, Greg Delanty, Geoffrey Brock, Gary Clark, Patrizia Cavalli, Annie Jacobs, 2011 LiT Forum, October 2011
From left: Antonello Borra, Greg Delanty, Geoffrey Brock, Gary Clark, Patrizia Cavalli, Annie Jacobs, 2011 LiT Forum, October 2011

Previous ALSCW/LiT Forums
The inaugural LiT Forum in September 2010, with Polish poet Adam Zagajewski and translator Clare Cavanagh, drew an audience of more than ninety people to the VSC Lowe Lecture Hall (Johnson’s historic opera house). The forum began with Zagajewski reading his poems in both their original Polish and English translations, then moved on to a discussion of their collaborative process, the back story of Adam’s poem “Try to Praise the Mutilated World” (which appeared in the New Yorker immediately following the 9/11 attacks), and a question and answer session. A recording of Zagajewski’s reading was added to VSC’s audio podcast archive, which will be made available for download or streaming.

The 2011 LiT forum featured Italian poet Patrizia Cavalli and poet and translator Geoffrey Brock. The pair presented a talk to an international audience on the challenging role of choice and decision-making within each translation, and they read not only Brock’s translations of Cavalli into English, but Cavalli’s translations of Brock into Italian. Highlights also included Cavalli reading and discussing samples from her translation of Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” into Italian.

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Robert Pinsky to Speak Tonight in Chicago

A reprint of a press release of interest.

Art Beyond Borders: Robert Pinsky
THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 5, 6 PM

Fullerton Hall
Art Institute of Chicago
111 South Michigan Avenue
Free admission

While serving as U.S. Poet Laureate for an unprecedented three terms from 1997 to 2000, Robert Pinsky founded the Favorite Poem Project, which gave a resonant voice to America’s vigorous and varied poetry audience. Pinsky has been active as a critic, poet, translator of verse, and recently authored a prose book, The Life of David (2005). His newest book—his seventh—is Gulf Music (2007), winner of the 2008 Theodore Roethke Prize. Pinsky is a professor at Boston University and the poetry editor for the online magazine, Slate. He has also written the “Poet’s Choice” column for the Washington Post, and has been a regular commentator on the NewsHour with Jim Lehrer. In 2003, he made a cameo appearance on the popular television show The Simpsons.

Co-sponsored by Poetry Foundation and Art Institute of Chicago

360 DEGREES: ART BEYOND BORDERS
brings together Chicago’s leading cultural institutions—Poetry Foundation, Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, and Chicago Council on Global Affairs—to celebrate cultural, social, and political life around the world. Leading museum directors, renowned musicians, poets from around the world, and cultural leaders explore the role of art and culture in our ever-shrinking globe.

www.poetryfoundation.org

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2009 Conference Featured Speaker to Speak in Texas on March 12

An event of note.

As a preview for the Fifteenth Annual ALSC Conference, to be held in October 2009 in Denver, Colorado, we are pleased to note that our featured speaker Azar Nafisi will be speaking at the Harry Ransom Lecture on March 12th of this year.  The Harry Ransom Lectures are held in Austin at the University of Texas and sponsored by the University Co-operative Society, in memory of former Chancellor Harry Huntt Ransom. Azar Nafisi has taught at the University of Tehran, the Free Islamic University, and Allameh Tabatabai, and is currently a Visiting Professor and the director of the Cultural Conversations at the Foreign Policy Institute of Johns Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies in Washington, DC.  Ms. Nafisi is the celebrated author of Reading Lolita in Tehran: A Memoir in Books (2003); another work, Things I Have Been Silent About, appears this month in print.  While teaching in Tehran, she endured dismissal and a six-year teaching hiatus for refusing to wear a veil in the classroom, and her work concerns both criticism of the Islamic regime and self-criticism in the vein of Pride and Prejudice.  She has been greatly distinguished for her studies and promotion of culture and human rights, especially in the Middle East, most recently in 2006 by the Persian Golden Lioness Award for literature, presented by the World Academy of Arts, Literature, and Media.  We celebrate her acclaim in Texas as we anticipate her weekend with us this fall.

– Erin McDonagh

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David Ferry will read at Boston University

We are pleased to announce that David Ferry, poet, translator, and lifetime member of the ALSC, will read at Boston University’s Katzenberg Center (871 Commonwealth Ave, 3rd floor) on Thursday, September 25 at 5PM. He will be reading from his new translation of the first three books of Virgil’s Aeneid, among other works.

Ferry is the author of Of No Country I Know: New and Selected Poems and Translations, which won the 2000 Rebekah Johnson Bobbitt National Prize for Poetry and the Academy of American Poets’ Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize, as well as numerous volumes of translation.

The reading is free and open to the public.  It is part of the fall 2008 Poetry Reading Series at Boston University, co-sponsored by the Boston University Humanities Foundation and the University Professors Program.

A recent recording of Ferry reading from his work is available as part of the ALSC podcast series.

– Liza Katz

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