Literary Partners Program: ‘Antarah’s War Songs: A Reading

Award-winning translators James E. Montgomery and Richard Sieburth read from War Songs, their new translation of the poetry of ʿAntarah ibn Shaddād (6th century AD). ʿAntarah is widely considered one of the Arabic language’s greatest poets. In War Songs, his voice resonates in vibrant, contemporary English, intoning its eternal truths: commitment to one’s beliefs, loyalty to kith and kin, and fidelity in love. The reading will be followed by a Q&A and book signing.

2018: Is the Poet the New Public Intellectual? Today’s Poet-Critics on Criticism and Critique

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?

A Tribute to Lucie Brock-Broido

Join us to celebrate the life and work of influential and beloved poet and professor Lucie Brock-Broido, whose poems "glistened with embellished, inventive language about her life, beauty, art and real-world people" (New York Times). Hear reflections and readings by Mary Jo Bang, Sophie Cabot Black, Henri Cole, Timothy Donnelly, Emily Fragos, Harmony Holiday, Marie Howe, Binnie Kirshenbaum, Dorothea Lasky, Robert Polito, Srikanth Reddy, Tracy K.

A Tribute to John Yau

This evening honors John Yau, the author of thirteen books of poetry, most recently, Bijoux in the Dark (2018); four books of fiction; and many monographs and books of art criticism. An influence and mentor to many poets, Yau wields visual art, film, and surrealism in his poems, speaking through “voices that reveal the multiple and shadowy selves inside the self” (2018 Jackson Poetry Prize citation).

Epic Voices: The Polish Epic with Jacek Dehnel & Bill Johnston

Polish writer and translator Jacek Dehnel joins American translator Bill Johnston to discuss the epic in Polish literature, from the 19th century to contemporary works. Johnston will talk about his new translation of Adam Mickiewicz’s Pan Tadeusz or the Last Foray in Lithuania, widely regarded as the national epic poem of Poland and the larger Lithuanian region, first released in 1834.

Passwords: Dick Higgins with Steve Clay, Joshua Beckman, Steve McCaffery & Tracie Morris

A conceptual artist and concrete poet who helped found the Fluxus movement, Dick Higgins produced “intermedia” works, including “happenings,” films, sound art, music, and experimental texts that continue to shape experimental poetics today. He also established Something Else Press, publishing books and pamphlets by major avant-garde writers and artists across generations, from Gertrude Stein to John Cage. This panel celebrates the release of Intermedia, Fluxus and the Something Else Press: Selected Writings by Dick Higgins.

Epic Voices: The Contemporary Long Poem and Cultural Memory with Michael Leong

In The Dream Songs, John Berryman remarked, “The only happy people in the world / are those who do not have to write long poems: / muck, administration, toil.” Though Berryman suggests that composing a long poem will necessarily mire the writer in an excess of paperwork, poet Michael Leong considers the significant advantages of the form. Taking the perspectives of both the creative writer and the critical reader, Leong examines how writers of contemporary long poems—such as Theresa Hak Kyung Cha, M.

Passwords: Robert Lax with John Beer, Michael N. McGregor & Stacey Tran

Thomas Merton, the religious writer and poet, described his friend Robert Lax as “a potential prophet, but without rage” with “a mind full of tremendous and subtle intuitions.” A Roman Catholic convert, Lax abandoned New York City literary life for seclusion on the islands of Greece, where he moved in 1962 and continued to write minimalist poems for 30 years, earning him a following by major poets, from E.E. Cummings to Ginsberg to Denise Levertov, even as mainstream academic circles ignored his work.

A Portrait of the Self as Nation: A Craft Talk with Marilyn Chin

Born in Hong Kong, award-winning feminist poet Marilyn Chin maps immigrant and transnational identity in poems that are aesthetically wide-ranging and deft, making use of both Eastern and Western literary forms and cultural referents drawn from Chinese history and American popular culture. As Adrienne Rich has said of her work, “Marilyn Chin’s poems excite and incite the imagination through their brilliant cultural interfacings, their theatre of anger, ‘fierce and tender,’ their compassion, and their high mockery of wit.

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