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Is the Poet the New Public Intellectual? Today’s Poet-Critics on Criticism and Critique
Sep 14, 2018 | 6:30 pm
National Book Critics Circle poetry chair Tess Taylor invites some of today’s leading poet critics—Stephanie Burt, Chen Chen, Meghan O’Rourke, Greg Pardlo, and Craig Teicher—to talk about how the terrain of criticism is changing; what poets add to the literature of critique; and to what ends we write criticism now. How is the criticism poets write different than other criticism? What is the relationship between the forms of poetry and the forms of critical intervention? Where do poets understand the borders of these genres? How do critical and poetic projects feed, chase, devour or fuel each other? We will discuss what poet-critics offer the world that academic critics might not. In particular we will ask: is the critic an activist? Is the poet the new public intellectual?
THIS IS AN OFFICIAL 2018 BROOKLYN BOOK FESTIVAL EVENT
Stephanie Burt is Professor of English at Harvard and the author of several books of poetry and literary criticism, most recently The Poem Is You: Sixty Contemporary American Poems and How to Read Them (Harvard University Press, 2016) and Advice from the Lights: Poems (Graywolf, 2017). Her writings on poetry, comic books, and other topics appear semi-regularly in the London Review of Books, the New York Times Book Review, Rain Taxi, the Yale Review, and other venues in the UK, US and New Zealand.
Chen Chen is the author of When I Grow Up I Want to Be a List of Further Possibilities, which was longlisted for the National Book Award and won the A. Poulin, Jr. Poetry Prize, the GLCA New Writers Award, the Texas Book Award for Poetry, and the Thom Gunn Award for Gay Poetry. The collection was also a finalist for the Lambda Literary Award for Gay Poetry and named a Stonewall Honor Book in Literature. A Kundiman fellow, his work has appeared in many publications, including Tin House, Poem-a-Day, The Best American Poetry, and The Best American Nonrequired Reading. He is the 2018-2020 Jacob Ziskind Poet-in-Residence at Brandeis University.
Meghan O’Rourke began her career as one of the youngest editors in the history of The New Yorker. Since then, she has served as culture editor and literary critic for Slate as well as poetry editor and advisory editor for The Paris Review. Her essays, criticism, and poems have appeared in Slate, The New Yorker, The New York Times Magazine, The New York Times Book Review, The Nation, Redbook, Vogue, Poetry, The Kenyon Review, and Best American Poetry. O’Rourke is also the author of the poetry collections Once (2011) and Halflife (2007), which was a finalist for both the Patterson Poetry Prize and Britain’s Forward First Book Prize. She was awarded the inaugural May Sarton Poetry Prize, the Union League Prize for Poetry from the Poetry Foundation, a Guggenheim Fellowship, a Radcliffe Fellowship, a Lannan Literary Fellowship, two Pushcart Prizes, and a Front Page Award for her cultural criticism. One of three judges chosen to select Granta’s Best Young American Novelists in 2007, she has been a fellow at the MacDowell Colony and a finalist for the Rome Prize of the Academy of Arts and Letters. A graduate of Yale University, she has taught at Princeton, The New School, and New York University. She is currently working on a book about chronic illness. She lives in Brooklyn, where she grew up, and Marfa, TX.
Gregory Pardlo‘s collection Digest (Four Way Books) won the 2015 Pulitzer Prize for Poetry. His other honors include fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts and the New York Foundation for the Arts; his first collection Totem was selected by Brenda Hillman for the APR/Honickman Prize in 2007. He is Poetry Editor of Virginia Quarterly Review. Air Traffic, a memoir in essays, was released by Knopf in April.
Tess Taylor’s first book, The Forage House, was called “stunning” by The San Francisco Chronicle. Her second book, Work & Days, was called “our moment’s Georgic” by critic Stephanie Burt and was named one of the 10 best books of poetry of 2016 by The New York Times. Taylor’s poetry and nonfiction appear widely. She currently chairs the poetry committee of the National Book Critics Circle, and is on-air poetry reviewer for NPR’s All Things Considered. She was a Distinguished Fulbright US Scholar at the Seamus Heaney Centre in Queen’s University in Belfast, Northern Ireland, and was most recently Anne Spencer Writer in Residence at Randolph College.
Craig Morgan Teicher‘s latest poetry collection, The Trembling Answers, won the 2018 Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize from the Academy of American Poets. His first collection of essays, We Begin In Gladness: How Poets Progress, will be published by Graywolf in November.
- Sep 14, 2018
- Event Category:
- Readings and Conversations