Prolific poet and novelist Stephen Dobyns discusses the life and poetry of Pulitzer-prize winner James Wright (1927-1980), one of the most influential and admired post-war poets, who was called by James Dickey “a seer with astonishing compassion for human beings.”
Poet, translator and scholar Jennifer Scappettone discusses the work of the Italian poet and musicologist Amelia Rosselli (1930-1996) — whose first book was introduced by Pier Paolo Pasolini in 1964 — and will read from her award-winning translation. Rosselli’s extraordinary upbringing as a self-defined “child of the Second World War” led her to compose among three languages and synthesize a hybrid literary heritage stretching from Dante and the troubadours through Ezra Pound and John Berryman, recasting both the tradition and the future of Italian poetry.
In the late 1920s the group of young Russian writers who called themselves OBERIU seemed poised for avant-garde stardom, but the emergence of the Stalinist state, with its repression of avant-garde art, drove them underground. The editors and translators of Alexander Vvedensky’s An Invitation for Me to Think and Daniil Kharms’s Notebooks will discuss the lives and works of these writers, whom the Times Literary Supplement, The Nation and The Believer call “as relevant today as ever.”
Robert Duncan often described himself as “bookish poet.” Drawing from sources as varied as philosopher Alfred North Whitehead's Process and Reality, the kabbalism of The Zohar, and articles from Scientific American magazine, Duncan began his journey into the “made place” of the book. Duncan’s biographer, poet Lisa Jarnot, will map out the varied intersections of Duncan’s library, his bookishness and his entrance into poetics.
Translators Karen Emmerich and Edmund Keeley share their collaborative translation of Diaries of Exile, by the legendary Greek poet Yannis Ritsos (1909-1990), and discuss the poet’s life in exile and powerful writing about Greek political life and history.
Deeply admired by poets from Federico García Lorca to William Carlos Williams, Miguel Hernández (1910-42), was called by Pablo Neruda “a great master of language.”
Don Share, senior editor of Poetry Magazine, reads his award-winning translations of Hernández’s work and frames this great poet’s life and poetry in the context of his time and the poets around him. Marta López-Luaces will read the original Spanish.
Experimental poet and jazz musician Clark Coolidge discusses Philip Guston’s passion for poetry and wordplay as evidenced by the painter’s extraordinary series of poem-pictures, which incorporate poems by William Corbett and Stanley Kunitz, among others, against the backdrop of their friendship, collaborations and Guston’s Collected Writings, Lectures, and Conversations, which Coolidge edited.
Born in Syria in 1930, Adonis is one of the most revered poets of the Arabic-speaking world. An influential, and sometimes controversial, Modernist innovator in Arabic verse, Adonis— and his English-language translator, Khaled Mattawa —presents a poetry reading followed by a lively discussion about poetry and contemporary issues.
Admission free for registered Association of Writers & Writing Programs Conference (AWP) participants; for details, please visit the AWP website
Readings by Sherman Alexie, Tina Chang, Toi Derricotte, Michael Dickman, Timothy Donnelly, Cornelius Eady, Thomas Sayers Ellis, Nick Flynn, Rachel Eliza Griffiths, Marie Howe, Dante Micheaux, Sharon Olds and Tracy K. Smith, with musical interludes by mezzo-soprano Alicia Hall Moran.