April 9, 2015 Two U.S. Poets Laureate in Conversation, April 30

Press Contact: Donna Urschel (202) 707-1639
Public Contact: Rob Casper (202) 707-5394

Charles Wright will conclude his tenure as the 20th Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry at the Library of Congress by participating in a lively conversation with former Poet Laureate Charles Simic. The discussion will be moderated by the editor of Poetry magazine, Don Share.

The event will start at 7 p.m. on Thursday, April 30, in the Coolidge Auditorium on the ground floor of the Thomas Jefferson Building, 10 First St. S.E., Washington, D.C. Free and open to the public, the discussion will be followed by a book signing and reception. Tickets are not required, but early arrival is strongly recommended.

Wright and Simic, who was the 15th Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry, published an epistolary correspondence, “The Narrative of the Image,” more than 20 years ago. The evening conversation will continue their friendly, witty back-and-forth on poetry with one of the nation’s pre-eminent editors.

Share said of the historic event, “Poems are in conversation with their readers, which is a unique pleasure; on this occasion, poets will be in conversation with each other, bringing a new dimension to our appreciation of their much-garlanded work.”

Wright is the author of 24 books of poetry, including his 2012 collection, “Bye-and-Bye: Selected Late Poems,” winner of the Bollingen Prize for Poetry from the Yale University Library. Wright’s other major honors include the Pulitzer Prize, the National Book Award, the National Book Critics Circle Award, the International Griffin Poetry Prize, the Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize, and fellowships from the Ingram Merrill Foundation, the Guggenheim Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Arts. In 2008, he was awarded the Rebekah Johnson Bobbitt National Prize for Poetry by the Library of Congress for lifetime achievement in the art.

Simic is the author of more than 60 books; 20 titles of his own poetry among them, including “New and Selected Poems: 1962-2012” (2013). Simic was born in Belgrade, Yugoslavia, and immigrated to the United States in 1954. His many honors include the Pulitzer Prize in Poetry for “The World Doesn't End,” the International Griffin Poetry Prize for “Selected Poems: 1963-2003,” and the PEN Translation Prize for “The Storm and Other Poems” by Eugenio Montale, as well as the Wallace Stevens Award, the Robert Frost Medal and a MacArthur Fellowship.

The Poetry Foundation, publisher of Poetry magazine, is an independent literary organization committed to a vigorous presence for poetry in American culture. It exists to discover and celebrate the best poetry and to place it before the largest possible audience. Each year the foundation hosts a robust schedule of live events, ranging from poetry readings to staged plays. Events have also included artist collaborations, exhibition openings, and other performances. For more information, visit www.poetryfoundation.org External.

The Poetry and Literature Center at the Library of Congress fosters and enhances the public’s appreciation of literature. The center administers the endowed poetry chair (the U.S. Poet Laureate), and coordinates an annual literary season of poetry, fiction and drama readings, performances, lectures and symposia, sponsored by the Library’s Gertrude Clarke Whittall Poetry and Literature Fund and the Huntington Fund. For more information, visit www.loc.gov/poetry.

The Library of Congress, the nation’s oldest federal cultural institution and the largest library in the world, holds more than 160 million items in various languages, disciplines and formats. The Library serves the U.S. Congress and the nation both on-site in its reading rooms on Capitol Hill and through its award-winning website at www.loc.gov.


PR 15-056
ISSN 0731-3527