September 27, 2002
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Marti Hobbes, firstname.lastname@example.org
Editor's note: For a photo of Wilbur,
call (413) 585-2190.
Poet Richard Wilbur to Read
at Smith College
NORTHAMPTON, Mass.-The Poetry Center
at Smith College presents poet Richard Wilbur at 7:30 p.m. on
Tuesday, Oct. 8, in Stoddard Hall Auditorium.
Richard Wilbur is the only living American poet to have won the
Pulitzer Prize twice. The second Poet Laureate of the United
States and recipient of countless honors and awards-including
the Bollingen Prize, two PEN translation awards and two Guggenheim
Fellowships-he has displayed consistent eloquence and artistry
over a career that spans more than half a century.
After a "rather solitary" childhood in the New Jersey
countryside, Wilbur attended Amherst College and Harvard University.
Having spent several college summers as a "privileged hobo"
hitchhiking and riding the rails, followed by stints as a cryptographer
and an infantryman in the Army during WWII, he brought to his
poetry the richness of life experience, as well as formal education.
Wilbur's first book, "The Beautiful Changes," was published
in 1947 to much critical acclaim; the publication of the second,
"Ceremony and Other Poems," cemented his reputation
as America's finest poet writing in traditional meters and forms.
Wilbur once said in an interview: "If one chooses form
rightly, one is not submitting to the demands of the form but
making use of it at every moment ... [and] the very words we
use if we are writing careful poetry engage us ... in a conversation
with all the poetry that has ever been written."
Wilbur's varied literary output of over 35 books has included
poetry, prose, children's books, a collection of essays, plays,
translations and editorial work on the collected poems of Shakespeare
and Poe. The most prolific and gifted translator of Molière
world-wide, Wilbur is credited with the explosive revival of
his plays in North America, beginning in 1955 with "The
Misanthrope." Wilbur's translations of Molière,
Racine, Apollinaire and others are widely praised for incorporating
the spirit of both language and author, while maintaining the
original form and rhyme scheme.
Having served on the faculties of Harvard, Wellesley, Wesleyan
and Smith (where he is poet emeritus), Wilbur is now retired
from teaching and lives in Cummington, Mass., and in Key West,
Fla. His new book of poems is "Mayflies."
Wilbur's reading is supported by the Edith Oppenheimer Richman
'31 Fund and will be followed by a bookselling and signing. For
more information, call Cindy Furtek in the Poetry Center office
at (413) 585-4891 or Ellen Doré Watson, director, at (413)