November 20, 2002
Poet James Tate to Read
at Smith College
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Editor's note: For a photo of Tate, call (413) 585-2190.
NORTHAMPTON, Mass.-Smith College will
host poet James Tate at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 10, in Stoddard
Hall Auditorium. The event, which is sponsored by the Poetry
Center, is free, open to the public and wheelchair accessible.
Tate was a 23-year-old graduate student when he won the Yale
Series of Younger Poet's award for "The Lost Pilot."
A dozen subsequent collections have established him as one of
the foremost American surrealist poets and winner of every major
honor, from the $100,000 Tanning Prize to the National Book Award
and the Pulitzer Prize.
Prolific and wildly inventive, Tate has been hailed by the Village
Voice as "the best American poet born in the 1940s,"
by the New York Times as "an elegant, anarchic clown,"
and by poet and critic Dana Gioia as "the perpetual 'enfant
terrible' of American poetry." Father of "conversational"
or "home-spun" surrealism, famous for making the genre
accessible and popular in the U. S. for the first time in the
'60s and '70s, he has also been translated into over a dozen
languages. Tate's poems are irreverent, hallucinatory, utterly
unafraid-he says he's "willing to follow a poem anywhere
so long as it promises some insight or revelation"-often
deadly serious and riotously funny simultaneously.
Tate's latest works include "Memoir of the Hawk: Poems"
and "Dreams of a Robot Dancing Bee," a collection of
short stories. As poet John Ashbery writes, "[Tate] never
ceases to astonish, dismay, delight, confuse, tickle and generally
improve the quality of our lives." Tate was born in Kansas
City, Mo., and makes his home in Amherst, where he has been a
member of the faculty of the University of Massachusetts since
Tate's reading will be followed by a book selling and signing.
For more information, call Cindy Furtek in the Poetry Center
office at (413) 585-4891 or Ellen Doré Watson, director,
at (413) 585-3368.