Three Poets to Celebrate Walt Whitman
at Smith College
Editor's note: For a photo
of Espada, Kinnell or Rushin, contact Marti Hobbes at firstname.lastname@example.org
or (413) 585-2190.
NORTHAMPTON, Mass. -- Smith
College will present "I
Contain Multitudes": A Celebration of Walt Whitman" at
7:30 p.m. on Tuesday Dec. 2, in Wright Hall Auditorium. This
special event features poets Galway Kinnell, Martín
Espada and Kate Rushin, three diverse and dynamic voices,
reading favorite passages of Whitman's work as well as their
own poems, and speaking about Whitman's profound influence
on poets writing in both English and Spanish.
been a major figure in American poetry for three decades.
His "Selected Poems" was awarded
both the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award. In his
introduction to "The Essential Whitman," Kinnell
acknowledges Whitman as his "principal master," and
critics have noted Kinnell's Whitmanesque cadences, transcendental
philosophy and personal intensity.
Espada, author of seven
prize-winning poetry collections, has been hailed as "the
Latino poet of his generation." Espada's
work is often described as a poetry of advocacy: the poems
speak, as Whitman's do, "for the rights of them the
others are down upon." Espada, who will read a few Whitman
selections in Spanish, is also an essayist, translator and
political activist. Of Espada, author Russell Banks declared, "His
ambition and his achievement remind us of Whitman, where
it all begins."
Rushin's teaching and readings
over the past two decades reflect her commitment to the songs
of everyday people. Like Whitman, she hears "America
like Langston Hughes, she is "the darker [sister]," who
takes readers with her into "the kitchen," to honor
the women who work there by nourishing family, community
and society. Rushin is author of "The Black Back-Ups" and
the forthcoming "Camden Sweet, Lawnside Blues."
special Whitman event is free and open to the public. Works
by Whitman and by the three participating poets will be available,
and the reading will be followed by a book signing. Special
reserve block seating is available for schools and groups.
For more information, contact Cindy Furtek at (413) 585-4891
or Ellen Doré Watson, director of the
Smith College Poetry Center, at (413) 585-3368.
Office of College
Northampton, Massachusetts 01063
T (413) 585-2190
F (413) 585-2174
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