Monday, September 10, 2012

Monday Muse: Poetry at the Folger

The Folger Shakespeare Library's O.B. Hardison Poetry Series is known for the many wonderful poets it brings to Washington, D.C., for public readings and conversations. This year's program, comprising eight events, is no exception.

The season opens September 17 at 7:30 p.m. with Eduardo C. Corral, 2011 recipient of the Yale Series of Younger Poets, in conversation with series judge and poet Carl Phillips. Corral, the first Latino poet to win the Yale award, is the author of Slow Lightning (Yale University Press, 2012). His other honors include a Whiting Writers Award (2011) and a Discovery/The Nation award. Phillips has written 12 poetry collections, one of which, Double Shadow (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2012), received the 2011 Los Angeles Times Book Prize.

On October 30, also at 7:30 p.m., Nikky Finney and Brian Turner join moderator Kwame Dawes for readings and a talk about the role of politics in literature. A reception and book signing follow. Finney, co-founder of Affrilachian Poets, a collective of writers of Native American and African descent, received the 2011 National Book Award for her collection Head Off & Split (Triquarterly, 2011). Poet, essayist, professor, and military veteran Turner has published two books of poetry, Here, Bullet (Alice James Books, 2005), which received the 2005 Beatrice Hawley Award, and Phantom Noise (Alice James Books, 2010), short-listed for the 2010 T.S. Eliot Prize. Dawes, a poet, novelist, nonfiction writer, critic, and dramatist, will publish next year Duppy Conqueror: New and Selected Poems (Copper Canyon Press, 2013); his Wheels (Peepal Tree Press, Ltd., 2011) is among 16 other published collections.

Chris Andrews, a 2011 Anthony Hecht Poetry Prize winner, for his second collection Lime Green Chair (Waywiser Press, 2012), will join former U.S. Poet Laureate and Pulitzer Prize winner Mark Strand on November 19 for a paired reading, beginning at 7:30 p.m., followed by a reception and book signing. 

The annual Emily Dickinson Birthday Tribute on December 3 will be marked by Pulitzer Prize winner and former U.S. Poet Laureate and MacArthur Foundation Fellow Kay Ryan. Ryan will read both Dickinson's and her own poems at the 7:30 p.m. event. Dickinson's black cake (recipe) will be served at the reception. Ryan is the author most recently of The Best of It: New and Selected Poems (Grove Press, 2011).

The remainder of the fall-through-spring series includes:

B.H. Fairchild and Mary Jo Bang on February 11, 2013, 7:30 p.m. Fairchild, the recipient of many honors, including a William Carlos Williams Award from the Poetry Society of America and a Bobbitt National Prize from the Library of Congress, has written six collections, including Usher (W.W. Norton, 2010), and is the author of a critical study of the poetry of William Blake. University of Washington professor Mary Jo Bang, also a much-lauded poet, published a new translation of Inferno (Graywolf Press, 2012) and is the author of Elegy (Graywolf Press, 2009), awarded the National Book Critics Circle Award and the Alice Fay di Castagnola Award (2005). A reception and book signing conclude the evening. 

✭ Poet, novelist, and essayist Forrest Gander participates March 28 in a reading co-sponsored with D.C.'s jewel The Phillips Collection. "Forrest Gander on Angels, Demons, and Savages: Pollock, Ossorio, and Dubuffet" will be held at The Phillips at 6:30 p.m. Gander will read his responses to selections from the art museum's exhibition of works by painter Jackson Pollock (1912-1956), artist and patron Alfonso Ossorio (1916-1990), and painter and sculptor Jean Dubuffet (1901-1985). (The exhibition of 53 paintings and works on paper is on view from February 9, 2013, to May 12, 2013.) Phillips curator Klaus Ottoman will introduce Gander, who has collaborated numerous times with artists and photographers. A Brown University professor who has received two Gertrude Stein Awards  for Innovative Poetry, Gander is the author of more than a dozen books, including the poetry collections Core Samples from the World (New Directions, 2011), a Pulitzer Prize finalist, and Eye Against Eye  (New Directions, 2005), which features photographs by Sally Mann.

✭ The prolific former U.S. Poet Laureate Billy Collins reads at the Folger on April 29 at 7:30 p.m. Poet and memoirist Reginald Dwayne Betts will introduce and talk with the ever-popular Collins, who will be available for a book signing following his reading. Currently a member of the faculty at State University of New York/Stonybrook, Collins's poetry books include, most recently, Horoscopes for the Dead (Random House, 2012).

✭ Irish poet Paul Muldoon closes the poetry series at 7:30 p.m. on May 13, reading from his own work and that of other poets. Folger's director Michael Witmore will introduce and moderate a discussion with Muldoon, who currently is poetry editor of The New Yorker and a professor of poetry at the University of Oxford. He also teaches at Princeton University. His collections include Moy Sand and Gravel (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2002, 2004), which won a Pulitzer Prize, and Maggot (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2010, 2011).

All events require tickets. One may subscribe ($80) to the season or purchase admission to individual events ($15/reading). Other seasonal events are listed here.

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