For Immediate Release

W.S. Merwin Reads for 57th Annual Poetry Day

September 20, 2011

CHICAGO — The Poetry Foundation, publisher of Poetry magazine, is pleased to announce that poet, translator, and environmental activist W.S. Merwin will read in celebration of the 57th annual Poetry Day on Thursday, October 6. In a career spanning five decades, Merwin has become one of the most honored and widely read poets in America. From his first collection, A Mask for Janus, which W.H. Auden chose for the Yale Younger Poets Prize in 1952, to The Shadow of Sirius, winner of the 2009 Pulitzer Prize, Merwin has written with sheer grace and limpid power about the natural world, time, and memory. Appointed U.S. poet laureate in 2010, Merwin lives, writes, and gardens in Hawaii, on the island of Maui. He has spent the last 30 years planting 19 acres with over 800 endangered species of palm, creating a sustainable forest. The property has recently been protected as the Merwin Conservancy.

What: Poetry Day: W.S. Merwin
When: Thursday, October 6, 6 p.m.
Where: Harold Washington Library
              Cindy Pritzker Auditorium
              400 South State Street
Tickets: Free admission on a first-come, first-served basis

Inaugurated by Robert Frost in 1955, Poetry Day is one of the most distinguished poetry reading series in the country, having featured such poets of note as T.S. Eliot, Elizabeth Bishop, Carl Sandburg, W.H. Auden, Anne Sexton, John Ashbery, James Merrill, Adrienne Rich, Gwendolyn Brooks, Rita Dove, Billy Collins, Seamus Heaney, Derek Walcott, and Robert Hass.

Find information about other Poetry Foundation events at www.poetryfoundation.org/programs/events.

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About Poetry
Founded in Chicago by Harriet Monroe in 1912, Poetry is the oldest monthly devoted to verse in the English-speaking world. Monroe’s “Open Door” policy, set forth in Volume 1 of the magazine, remains the most succinct statement of Poetry’s mission: to print the best poetry written today, in whatever style, genre, or approach. The magazine established its reputation early by publishing the first important poems of T.S. Eliot, Ezra Pound, Marianne Moore, Wallace Stevens, H.D., William Carlos Williams, Carl Sandburg, and other now-classic authors. In succeeding decades it has presented—often for the first time—works by virtually every major contemporary poet.

About the Poetry Foundation
The Poetry Foundation, publisher of Poetry magazine, is an independent literary organization committed to a vigorous presence for poetry in our culture. It exists to discover and celebrate the best poetry and to place it before the largest possible audience. The Poetry Foundation seeks to be a leader in shaping a receptive climate for poetry by developing new audiences, creating new avenues for delivery, and encouraging new kinds of poetry through innovative literary prizes and programs. For more information, please visit www.poetryfoundation.org.

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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