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March 02, 2010, 7:00 PM

Confessionalism and Poets of the Middle Generation

Poetry Reading & Discussion
Participants: Michael Braziller & Edward Hirsch

This event will explore the work of John Berryman, Randall Jarrell, and Robert Lowell through the reading of selected poems and discussion of the poets' backgrounds and influences. These poets began under the scrupulous and austere sign of New Criticism, but ended up using their ironic sensibilities to bring a messy humanity, a harsh luminosity, and a well of tenderness back into poetry. They were highly personal writers, who, like Yeats at the beginning of the twentieth century, found more enterprise in walking naked. There is a great deal of nobility in their poems of self-exposure. This discussion, led by Michael Braziller, publisher of Persea Books, with guest poet Edward Hirsch, will illustrate how these mid-century poets used language to achieve powerful effects.

This event is made possible with public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts, a state agency.

Edward Hirsch has published seven books of poems: For the Sleepwalkers, Wild Gratitude, which won the National Book Critics Circle Award, The Night Parade, Earthly Measures, On Love, Lay Back the Darkness, and Special Orders. He has also written four prose books, including How to Read a Poem and Fall in Love with Poetry, a national bestseller, and Poets Choice. He edits the series The Writer's World (Trinity University Press). He has received a Guggenheim Fellowship, the American Academy of Arts and Letters Award for Literature, and a MacArthur Fellowship. He taught creative writing at the University of Houston for eighteen years and now serves as president of the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation.

This program is made possible, in part, with public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, in partnership with the City Council, and the New York State Council on the Arts, a state agency.


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