November 1, 2001 Readings by Five Poets at the Library of Congress Who Are Finalists for the Phi Beta Kappa Poetry Award
Press Contact: Craig D'Ooge (202) 707-9189
Public Contact: Jennifer Rutland (202) 707-5395
On Thursday evening, November 15, the Library of Congress Poetry and Literature Center and the Phi Beta Kappa Society will present five poets reading from their own work at 7 p.m. in the Montpelier Room on the sixth floor of the James Madison Memorial Building. Tickets are not required. The poets are Amy Gerstler, Kenneth Koch, Ann Lauterbach, Charles North, and Dara Weir. The program will be introduced by the current Poet Laureate, Billy Collins.
The poets reading from their work are finalists for the first Phi Beta Kappa Poetry Award, to be presented at the national office of the Phi Beta Kappa Society on Friday, November 16. The judge for the 2001 Phi Beta Kappa Award is John Ashbery, who will be present during the readings. The award was made possible by a grant from the Joseph and May Winston Foundation.
John Ashbery was born in Rochester, New York, in 1927. He is the author of 20 books of poetry, including Your Name Here (2000); Girls on the Run: A Poem (1999); Wakefulness (1998); A Wave (1984), which won the Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize; Self-Portrait in a Convex Mirror (1975), which received the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry, the National Book Critics Circle Award, and the National Book Award; and Some Trees (1956), which was selected by W.H. Auden for the Yale Series of Younger Poets. Mr. Ashbery was the first English-language poet to win the Grand Prix de Biennales Internationales de Poésie; among his many other honors and awards are the Bollingen Prize, the English Speaking Union Prize, the Feltrinelli Prize, the Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize, and two Ingram Merrill Foundation grants. Mr. Ashbery is a former chancellor of the Academy of American Poets and is the Charles P. Stevenson Jr. Professor of Languages and Literature at Bard College. He divides his time between New York City and Hudson, New York.