Poet Galway Kinnell to Read at Smith College
The Smith College Poetry Center will present poet Galway Kinnell at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, April 17, in Wright Hall Auditorium.
Kinnell has been a major figure in American poetry for three decades. His "Selected Poems" (1982) was awarded both the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry and the National Book Award, and individual volumes such as "Body Rags," "The Book of Nightmares," "Mortal Acts, Mortal Words," and "Imperfect Thirst" have won him a large and passionate following. "His point," notes Publishers Weekly, "seems not to describe or illustrate facts of nature, human or inhuman, but to summon their essence, with lyric violence or tenderness, and confirm a kinship."
Poet Mary Oliver calls Kinnell "one of the elegant and reliable voices of our times," and writes that he "rarely fails to reach beyond himself as well as into himself in his poems -- his work is concerned with the 'relationship' of our lives to the universe." The Dictionary of Literary Biography remarks that Kinnell's poems reflect and underline the "constant impingement of the other-than-human on our lives."
Calling him "our premiere pantheist," poet Tony Hoagland writes that Kinnell's chief subjects are "mortality, erotic love and creatureness." Critics often compare Kinnell's work to that of Walt Whitman because of its transcendental philosophy and personal intensity. "Kinnell is a poet of the rarest ability," writes Liz Rosenberg of the Boston Globe, "the kind who comes once or twice in a generation, who can flesh out music, raise the spirits and break the heart."
In addition to his many books of poetry, Kinnell has enriched the literary landscape with a novel, a collection of interviews and a children's book. He edited "The Essential Whitman" and has published translations of works by Yves Bonnefoy, Francois Villon, and, most recently, Rainer Maria Rilke ("The Essential Rilke," 1999, with Hannah Liebmann).
Born in Rhode Island and educated at Princeton, Kinnell has been recipient of fellowships from the MacArthur and Guggenheim Foundations and the Medal of Merit of the National Institute of Arts and Letters, as well as many other prestigious awards. He has held lectureships abroad, in France and Iran, and taught widely in the United States.
Currently the Erich Maria Remarque
Professor of Creative Writing at New York University, he lives
in New York City and in Vermont, where he was State Poet from
For more information, call Cindy Furtek in the Poetry Center office at (413) 585-4891 or Ellen Doré Watson, director, at (413) 585-3368.
Contact: Marti Hobbes, firstname.lastname@example.org
April 3, 2001