March 10, 1997 Poets Forrest Gander and Stanley Plumly To Read at the Library of Congress
Contact: Craig D'Ooge (202) 707-9189
On Thursday evening, March 20, poets Forrest Gander and Stanley Plumly 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.
Forrest Gander grew up in Virginia and holds degrees in both geology and literature. After living in central Mexico, he edited the bilingual anthology Mouth to Mouth: Poems by Twelve Contemporary Mexican Women (1993), for which he also translated poems. His own books include Rush to the Lake (1988), Lynchburg (1993), and Deeds of Utmost Kindness (1994). A new book, Science and Steepleflower, will appear next year from New Directions. In 1988, Mr. Gander received a National Endowment for the Arts fellowship in poetry, and in 1993, he received a Gertrude Stein Award in Innovative American Poetry. With C.D. Wright, he edits Lost Roads Publishers, a literary book press of more than 40 titles, and keeps a small orchard outside of Providence, Rhode Island. A professor at Providence College, he is teaching this year as a visiting poet in The Writers' Workshop at the University of Iowa.
Stanley Plumly was born in Barnesville, Ohio, and grew up in the lumber and farming regions of Virginia and Ohio. His first collection, In the Outer Dark (1970), won the Delmore Schwartz Memorial Award; his third, Out-of-the-Body Travel (1976), was nominated for the National Book Critics Circle Award and for the William Carlos Williams Prize. His most recent book is The Marriage in the Trees (1997). Mr. Plumly is a recipient of many other awards and honors, including seven Pushcart Prizes and fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Guggenheim Foundation, and the Ingram-Merrill Foundation. He has taught at many universities around the country, including the University of Iowa, the University of Michigan, the University of Washington, Ohio University, Princeton University, and Columbia University. He is at present a member of the Department of English at the University of Maryland.
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.