NYS Writers Institute Reading - October 18, 2001
4:00 Informal Seminar | Assembly Hall
8:00 p.m. Reading | Recital Hall, PAC
UAlbany, Uptown Campus
Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Stephen Dunn began life after college in 1962 as a pro basketball player with the Williamsport, Pennsylvania Billies. In 1963, he took a job as a copywriter for Nabisco and pursued a career in advertising. It was not until 1970 that Dunn chose to devote himself to poetry, enrolling in the Master of Arts Program in Creative Writing at Syracuse University.
The author of eleven collections of poetry, Dunn is very much rooted in the workaday American world.
[Dunn is] "a spokesman for suburban middle class." [His preoccupation with ordinary life] ". . .continues to remind us that there is dignity in the mundane." — Judith Kitchen in The Georgia Review
Different Hours (Pulitzer Prize, 2001, Norton) is yet another brilliant examination of everyday experience. "Use what's lying around the house," one poem advises, "Make it simple and sad." He heeds this advice, treating such domestic subjects as marital quarrels, turning 60, the news, the weather, and the New Jersey suburbs.
"The Art lies in hiding the art, Horace tells us, and Stephen Dunn has proven himself a master of concealment. His honesty would not be so forceful were it not for his discrete formality; his poems would not be so strikingly naked were they not so carefully dressed." — Poet Laureate Billy Collins
Dunn's other poetry collections include Loosestrife (National Book Critics Circle Award finalist, 1996, Norton), New and Selected Poems: 1974-1994 (1994), Landscape at the End of the Century (1991), Local Times (1986), winner of the National Poetry Series, Between Angels (1989), Riffs & Reciprocities: Prose Pairs (1999), and Walking Light: Essays and Memoirs (1993).
Among his many awards are an Academy Award in Literature from The American Academy of Arts & Letters, Fellowships from the Guggenheim and Rockefeller Foundations, three NEA Creative Writing Fellowships, a distinguished Artists Fellowship from the NJ State Council on the Arts, the Levinson and Oscar Blumenthal Prizes from Poetry, the Theodore Roethke Prize from Poetry Northwest, the James Wright Prize from Mid-American Review. He is Distinguished Professor of Creative Writing at Richard Stockton College of New Jersey.
"Wisdom might be something we could only learn through a language like Stephen Dunn's, unbearably fearless and beautiful." — Gerald Stern
For additional information, contact the Writers Institute at 518-442-5620
or online at http://www.albany.edu/writers-inst.