For Immediate Release

Poetry Foundation Announces Fall 2010 Literary Series

August 18, 2010

CHICAGO — The Poetry Foundation is pleased to announce its Fall Literary Series for 2010. The schedule features readings, talks, and interpretive performances. Highlights include “Seeing Things,” a collaboration with the Art Institute of Chicago, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, and Hubbard Street Dance Chicago; a reading by Naomi Shihab Nye; and the 56th Annual Poetry Day with Frank Bidart.

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Wednesday, September 15, 6:00 pm
Poetry Off the Shelf:
Valerie Martínez and Silvia Curbelo
Jazz Showcase
Dearborn Station
806 South Plymouth Court
Free admission

Valerie Martínez is a poet, teacher, translator, playwright, librettist, editor, and collaborative artist. Her first book of poetry, Absence, Luminescent (1999), won the Larry Levis Prize and a Greenwall Grant from the Academy of American Poets. A book-length poem, Each and Her, is out this year, as is her collection of Santa Fe poems (written during her tenure as poet laureate of Santa Fe), And They Called It Horizon. Her poems have also appeared in various anthologies of contemporary poetry.

Silvia Curbelo is the author of three collections of poetry: The Geography of Leaving, The Secret History of Water, and Ambush. Among her many laurels are fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Florida Arts Council, and the Cintas Foundation. Her poems have been published in literary journals and more than two dozen anthologies. A native of Matanzas, Cuba, she lives in Tampa, Florida, where she is managing editor for Organica magazine.

Co-sponsored with the Guild Complex and Letras Latinas

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Thursday, September 30, 6:00 pm
Poetry Off the Shelf: Seeing Things
Franz Wright

Fullerton Hall
Art Institute of Chicago
111 South Michigan Avenue
Free admission

Through his 14 collections, Franz Wright has written sharply perceptive, keenly felt poems that attest to his ability to shape revelation from darkness and transform the past into a luminous present. Walking to Martha’s Vineyard (2003) was awarded the Pulitzer Prize. Wright has also translated poems by René Char, Erica Pedretti, and Rainer Maria Rilke. In 2008 he and his wife, Elizabeth Oehlkers Wright, co-translated a collection by the Belarusian poet Valzhyna Mort, Factory of Tears. He has received the PEN/Voelcker Award for Poetry, as well as grants and fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the Whiting Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Arts. Wright is currently the writer-in-residence at Brandeis.

Co-sponsored with the Art Institute of Chicago

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Thursday, October 14, 6:00 pm
Poetry Day: Frank Bidart

Cindy Pritzker Auditorium
Harold Washington Library Center
400 South State Street
Free admission

Now in its 56th year, Poetry Day is one of the oldest and most distinguished reading series in the country. Inaugurated by Robert Frost, Poetry Day has featured such poets as T.S. Eliot, Marianne Moore, Elizabeth Bishop, W.H. Auden, Seamus Heaney, and Adrienne Rich.

In a career spanning 30 years, Frank Bidart has established himself as one of the most original and compelling poets of his generation. Initially influenced by T.S. Eliot and Ezra Pound, and later by his teacher Robert Lowell, Bidart has expanded the possibilities of poetry. He is the author of eight critically acclaimed collections, including, most recently, Desire, Star Dust, and Watching the Spring Festival (all from Farrar Straus & Giroux). Bidart won the Poetry Society of America’s Shelley Memorial Award in 1997, the Wallace Stevens Award in 2000, and the Bollingen Prize in 2007. A past chancellor of the Academy of American Poets, he has taught at Wellesley College since 1972.

Co-sponsored with the Chicago Public Library

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Sunday, October 24, 7:30 pm
Monday, October 25, 7:30 pm
Poetry on Stage: The Misanthrope by Molière, translated by Richard Wilbur

Richard Christiansen Studio at Victory Gardens
2433 North Lincoln Avenue
773.871.3000
Tickets $20; $10 students

Hardly a year has gone by in over two centuries that has not seen numerous productions of The Misanthrope, making it one of the most enduring comedies of all time. Richard Wilbur's translation of Molière’s comic masterpiece is in rhymed verse. We meet afresh Alceste (the title character), his friends, and his fiancée. The outspoken Alceste finds them all vain, hypocritical, and insincere, while his own comic flaw lies in considering himself flawless. Bernard Sahlins directs a cast of talented Chicago actors in this staged reading.

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Thursday, October 28, 6:00 pm
Poetry Off the Shelf: John Balaban and Le Pham Le

Ruggles Hall
The Newberry Library
60 West Walton Street
Free admission

John Balaban is the author of 12 books of poetry and prose, including four volumes that together have won the Academy of American Poets’ Lamont prize, been selected for the National Poetry Series, and earned two nominations for the National Book Award. His Locusts at the Edge of Summer: New & Selected Poems won the 1998 William Carlos Williams Award from the Poetry Society of America. In 2003 he was awarded a John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship. Balaban is a translator of Vietnamese poetry and a past president of the American Literary Translators Association, as well as a poet-in-residence and professor of English in the creative writing program at North Carolina State University in Raleigh.

Born in Vietnam, Le Pham Le attended the University of Pedagogy in Saigon, where she earned a BA in Vietnamese language and literature. After teaching high school for five years, she left her country with her family during the fall of South Vietnam. Her first publication is a bilingual collection of Vietnamese poems entitled Gio Thoi Phuong Nao/From Where the Wind Blows (Vietnamese International Poetry, 2003).

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Thursday, November 4, 6:00 pm
Poetry Off the Shelf: Seeing Things
Naomi Shihab Nye

Fullerton Hall
Art Institute of Chicago
111 South Michigan Avenue
Free admission

Naomi Shihab Nye has spent 35 years traveling the world leading workshops and inspiring students of all ages. Nye was born to a Palestinian father and an American mother and grew up in St. Louis, Jerusalem, and San Antonio. Her numerous books of poetry include You & Yours (a best-selling poetry book of 2006). Other works include seven prize-winning poetry anthologies for young readers. A collection of poems for young adults, Honeybee, won the 2008 Arab American Book Award in the Children’s/Young Adult category. Nye has held fellowships from the Lannan and Guggenheim Foundations as well as the Library of Congress. In January 2010 she was elected to the board of chancellors of the Academy of American Poets.

Co-sponsored with the Art Institute of Chicago

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Sunday, November 14, 4:00 pm
Poetry Off the Shelf:
Thomas Lynch: Bodies in Motion and at Rest

Thorne Auditorium
Northwestern University School of Law
375 East Chicago Avenue
312.494.9509 or www.chicagohumanities.org
Tickets $5; free for students and teachers with ID
Tickets go on sale to Chicago Humanities Festival members on Tuesday, September 7, and to the general public on Monday, September 20

Lynch is the author of three collections of poems and three books of essays. A book of stories, Apparition & Late Fictions, and a new collection of poems, Walking Papers, were published this year. His work has also appeared in the Atlantic, Granta, the New York Times, the Times of London, the New Yorker, and Paris Review. Lynch lives in Milford, Michigan, where he has been the funeral director since 1974, and in Moveen, County Clare, Ireland. He reads from his work and reflects on his unusual perspective as poet and undertaker, and what this duality brings to his writing. After the reading, Lynch will be interviewed by the president of the Poetry Foundation, John Barr.

Co-sponsored with the Chicago Humanities Festival

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Friday, December 3, 6:00 pm
Poetry Off the Shelf: Seeing Things
Idylls of the King

Fullerton Hall
Art Institute of Chicago
111 South Michigan Avenue
Free admission

British photographer Julia Cameron’s 19th-century tableaux of Tennyson’s Idylls of the King are brought to life with images, verse, and music. Actor/playwright Christopher Cartmill directs and performs, assisted by actor Mary Ernster.

Co-sponsored with the Art Institute of Chicago

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Sunday, December 12, 7:30 pm
Monday, December 13, 7:30 pm
Poetry on Stage
Under Milk Wood
by Dylan Thomas

Richard Christiansen Studio at Victory Gardens
2433 North Lincoln Avenue
773.871.3000
Tickets $20; $10 students

Just a month before his tragic death at age 39, Dylan Thomas completed this radio play about a town called Llareggub (say it backwards). The inhabitants of this small Welsh town by the sea are, to say the least, a colorful bunch of eccentrics who, in a work of great poetic beauty, decide to cordon off Llareggub from the “sane world.” Bernard Sahlins directs a cast of talented Chicago actors in this staged reading.

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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