April 12, 2005 Past Witter Bynner Winners Reunite for a Poetry Reading on April 18
Press Contact: Donna Urschel (202) 707-1639
Public Contact: Jennifer Rutland (202) 707-5394/5
Past Witter Bynner Fellowship Award winners will reunite in an evening of poetry readings and reminiscences in two sessions from 5 to 6:30 p.m. and from 8 to 9:30 p.m. Monday, April 18, in the Coolidge Auditorium of the Thomas Jefferson Building, 10 First St. S.E., Washington, D.C.
The first reading, from 5 to 6:30 p.m., will feature Carol Muske-Dukes, Carl Phillips, David Gewanter, Campbell McGrath, Joshua Weiner and George Bilgere. The second reading, from 8 to 9:30 p.m., will feature Major Jackson, Rebecca Wee, Dana Levin, Spencer Reece, Claudia Emerson and Martin Walls.
The event, a special gathering to celebrate the Witter Bynner Foundation’s generosity to the awards program, will mark the first time past winners have come together. Officials and board members of the Witter Bynner Foundation for Poetry will attend the celebration.
Carol Muske-Dukes is the author of seven books of poetry, most recently “Sparrow” (Random House, 2003). She is professor of English and creative writing and director of the new Ph.D. program in literature and creative writing at the University of Southern California. Carl Phillips’ latest book is “The Rest of Love,” published by Farrar, Straus & Giroux in 2004. He is an associate professor of English and of African and Afro-American studies at Washington University, St. Louis.
David Gewanter, associate professor of English at Georgetown University, is the author of “In the Belly” and co-editor of “The Collected Poems of Robert Lowell.” Campbell McGrath is the author of four collections of poetry: “Capitalism,” “American Noise,” “Spring Comes to Chicago” and “Road Atlas.” He teaches creative writing at Florida International University in Miami.
Joshua Weiner is an assistant professor of English at the University of Maryland and the author of “The World’s Room,” published by the University of Chicago Press in 2001. George Bilgere is the author of several books of poetry, including “The Good Kiss,” published by the Akron University Press in 2002. Bilgere teaches at John Carroll University in Cleveland.
Major Jackson, an associate professor of English at the University of Vermont, is the author of “Leaving Saturn: Poems,” which was a finalist for the 2002 National Book Critics Circle Award. Rebecca Wee, author of “Uncertain Grace,” teaches creative writing, literature and composition at Augustana College, Rock Island, Ill.
Dana Levin directs the creative writing program at the College of Santa Fe. Her second book of poetry, “Wedding Day,” will be published by Copper Canyon Press next month. Spencer Reece is the author of “The Clerk’s Tale,” published in 2004 by Houghton Mifflin. Reece is an assistant manager at Brooks Brothers in Palm Beach Gardens.
Claudia Emerson is an associate professor of English at Mary Washington College in Fredericksburg, Va. She is the author of “Pharaoh, Pharaoh” and “Pinion: An Elegy.” Martin Walls is assistant editor of Making Music, a magazine for music-making hobbyists, and a senior writer for International Musician, the journal of the American Federation of Musicians. His most recent poetry book is “Commonwealth,” published in 2005 by March Street Press.
The Witter Bynner Foundation for Poetry was incorporated in 1972 in New Mexico to provide grant support for programs in poetry through nonprofit organizations. Bynner was an influential early-20th century poet and translator of the Chinese classic the “Tao Te Ching,” which he named “The Way of Life According to Laotzu.” He traveled with D.H. and Frieda Lawrence and proposed to Edna St. Vincent Millay (she accepted, but then they changed their minds). He worked at McClure’s magazine, where he published A.E. Houseman for the first time in the United States and was one of
O. Henry’s early fans.
The Poetry and Literature Center administers the annual poetry and literature reading series at the Library, sponsored since 1951 by the Library’s Gertrude Clarke Whittall Poetry and
Literature Fund, and is the home of the Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry, a position that has existed since 1936. The Poet Laureate suggests authors to read in the literary series and plans special literary events during the reading season. For more information about the Library’s Poetry and Literature Center, the Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry and related events, visit the Web site at http://www.loc.gov/poetry/.