U.S. Poet Laureate (1997-2000)
NYS Writers Institute Reading - November 3, 2005
4:15 p.m. Seminar | Recital Hall, PAC
8:00 p.m. Reading | Recital Hall, PAC
UAlbany Uptown Campus
Robert Pinsky, poet, critic, and former U.S. Poet Laureate for three consecutive terms (1997-2000), is the author of the new prose biography, "The Life of David" (2005), a reweaving of the biblical and rabbinic tales about King David into a single captivating narrative.
"a well-executed biography" . . . "[Pinsky's] poetic language is singularly appropriate for recounting the life of the king who is traditionally accepted as the author of the poetic psalms, some of which are included in the narrative." - "Publishers Weekly"
Pinksy's most recent poetry volume is "Jersey Rain" (2000), a meditation on the themes of a life guided by Hermes, the Greek god of music, communication, deception and invention.
"With lavish technical gifts, a discriminating civic intelligence, and an impish relish for what goes against the solemnities of a lot of contemporary verse, Pinsky has given us one of the outstanding bodies of work in English-language poetry." - Justin Quinn, "Boston Book Review"
Pinsky propelled medieval poet Dante Alighieri onto the bestseller list with his acclaimed 1994 book, "The Inferno of Dante: A New Verse Translation," winner of the Landon Prize of the Academy of American Poets, the "Los Angeles Times" Book Award, and the Book of the Month Club Editor's Choice award.
"the premier modern text for English-language readers to experience Dante's power." - Stephen Greenblatt
Other poetry collections include "The Figured Wheel: New and Collected Poems, 1966-1996" (1996), winner of the Lenore Marshall Prize and finalist for the Pulitzer Prize, "History of My Heart" (1984), winner of the William Carlos Williams Prize, and "An Explanation of America" (1979). In 2004, Pinsky received the PEN/Voelcker Award for "an American poet at the height of his or her powers."
Pinsky's accessible books of poetry criticism include "Democracy, Culture and the Voice of Poetry" (2002), "The Sounds of Poetry" (1998), and "Poetry and the World" (1988), a National Book Critics Circle Award finalist.
As Poet Laureate, Pinsky founded the Favorite Poem Project, a successful organization that encourages Americans to share poetry with one another. So far, the project has yielded three anthologies of poems suggested by Americans of all ages: "Americans' Favorite Poems" (1999), "Poems to Read" (2002), and "An Invitation to Poetry" (2004).
Currently a professor of graduate writing at Boston University, Pinsky is also the poetry editor of the weekly Internet magazine Slate and secretary, American Academy of Arts and Letters (2003-2006).
The NYS Writers Institute cosponsored his visit to RPI on March 28, 1998 on conjunction with the McKinney Writing Contest.
For additional information, contact the Writers Institute at 518-442-5620
or online at http://www.albany.edu/writers-inst.