January 22, 1997 Poets Stephen Dobyns and Louise Gluck To Read at the Library of Congress
Contact: Craig D'Ooge (202) 707-9189
On Thursday evening, February 6, poets Stephen Dobyns and Louise Gluck will read from their work in the Mumford Room on the sixth floor of the James Madison Memorial Building. The reading, which is presented under the auspices of the Gertrude Clarke Whittall Poetry and Literature Fund, will begin at 6:45 p.m. Tickets are not required.
Stephen Dobyns is the author of nine collections of poems and 17 novels. His first book of poetry, Griffon (1976), won the Academy of American Poets' Lamont Prize. His other collections of poetry include Black Dog, Red Dog (1984), which was in the National Poetry Prize series; Cemetery Nights (1987), which received the Poetry Society of America's Melville Kane Award; and Body Traffic (1990). His most recent publications, both in 1996, are Common Carnage, a novel; and Best Words, Best Order: Essays on Poetry. A new novel, The Church of Dead Girls, will be published in June. Mr. Dobyns, who received his M.F.A. degree from the University of Iowa, is the recipient of three National Endowment for the Arts grants and a Guggenheim fellowship.
Louise Gluck's most recent appearance at the Library of Congress was as a co-winner (with Mark Strand) of the Library's 1992 Rebekah Johnson Bobbitt National Prize for Poetry, when she read from her prize-winning book, Ararat (1990). She teaches at Williams College. Among her other collections of poetry are The Triumph of Achilles (1985), which won the National Book Critics Circle Award for Poetry, the Boston Globe Literary Press Award for Poetry, and the Poetry Society of America's Melville Kane Award; The Wild Iris (1992), which won the Pulitzer Prize; and Meadowlands (1996).
The poetry and literature reading series at the Library of Congress is the oldest in the Washington area, and among 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 appreciation of good literature to a larger audience. The Poetry and Literature Center administers the series and is the home of the Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry, a position that has existed since 1936, when the late 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, 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.