Internationally known for his “talk pieces”— improvisational blends of comedy, story and social commentary that have been described as a mix of Mark Twain and Gertrude Stein, poet David Antin will explore how language can be regarded as essentially political.
Poet and translator Dick Davis expands our understanding of the period that gave rise to such voices as Rumi and Omar Khayyam by exploring several poems from the canon of Medieval Persian literature, including the Sufi allegory The Conference of Birds.
Poet Patricia Spears Jones discusses the life and work of Lorenzo Thomas (1944-2005), a pivotal figure in the Black Arts Movement and author of such poetry books as Chances are Few and Dancing on Main Street.
Copper Canyon Press editor Sam Hamill introduces readings by Heather Allen, Erin Belieu, Stephen Berg, Timothy Liu, Jane Miller, Karen Swenson, Elaine Terranova in celebration of the 25th anniversary of Copper Canyon Press and the release of the anthology The Gift of Tongues, chronicling one of the finest poetry presses in the nation.
Poet Agha Shahid Ali reads the poems of Faiz Ahmed Faiz (1911-1984), considered the greatest Urdu poet of the second half of this century, examining his use of classical forms such as the ghazal, and discuss the difficulties of translation.
Poets House co-founder Stanley Kunitz reads and discusses one of Russia's most significant poets, in celebration of the re-release of his translations with the late Max Hayward. As an unwavering witness to the turmoil of the first half of the twentieth century, Anna Akhmatova (1889-1966) still speaks eloquently to us of crisis and survival.