Contact: Craig D'Ooge (202) 707-9189
February 13, 1996
Crosscurrents: Poets C.K. Williams and Adam Zagajewski To Read at the Library of Congress
On Thursday evening, February 29, American Poet C. K. Williams and Polish Poet Adam Zagajewski will read from their work in the Mumford Room on the sixth floor of the James Madison Memorial Building. The reading, presented under the auspices of the Gertrude Clarke Whittall Poetry and Literature Fund, will begin at 6:45 p.m.; Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry Robert Hass will introduce the poets. Tickets are not required.
C. K. Williams is a professor at George Mason University and lives part of each year in Paris. His collection of poetry Flesh and Blood won the National Book Critics Circle Award in 1987. His other collections, Lies (1969), I Am the Bitter Name (1973), With Ignorance (1977), and Tar (1983), are collected in Poems: 1963-1983 (1988). His most recent volume, Selected Poems, was published in 1994. Mr. Williams has also published three works of translation: Sophocles' Women of Trachis (with Gregory Dickerson, 1978), The Lark, The Thrush, The Starling: Poems from Issa (1983), and The Bacchae of Euripides (1990). His translation of poems by Adam Zagajewski, Canvas, was published in 1992.
Adam Zagajewski was born in Lvov in the Polish Ukraine. He moved to Krakow in 1963, where he studied philosophy at Jagiellonian University. His first volume of poetry appeared in 1972 and was followed by four others. He is also the author of four collections of essays, including The Unrepresented World, and three novels. His most recent collection of poems, Canvas, was translated by Renata Gorczynski, Benjamin Ivry, and C. K. Williams. Mr. Zagajewski divides his time between Paris and Houston, where he teaches in the University of Houston's Creative Writing Program.
The poetry and literature reading series at the Library of Congress is the oldest in the Washington area, and one of the oldest in the United States. This annual series of public poetry and fiction readings, lectures, symposia, and occasional dramatic performances began in the 1940s and has been almost exclusively supported since 1951 by a gift from the late Gertrude Clarke Whittall, who wanted to bring the enjoyment and appreciation of good literature to a larger audience. The Poetry and Literature Center, which administers the series, is also the home of the Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry, a position that has existed since 1936, when the late philanthropist Archer M. Huntington endowed the Chair of Poetry at the Library of Congress. Since then, many of the nation's most eminent poets have served as Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress and, after the passage of Public Law 99-194 in 1985, as Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry. The Poet Laureate suggests authors to read in the literary series, plans other special literary events during the reading season, and usually introduces the programs.
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