NYS Writers Institute Reading - April 26, 2000
8:00 p.m. Reading | Sage Building 3303, RPI
Troy, New York
In conjunction with the McKinney Writing Contest
Celebrated poet Gerald Stern is the author of many books of poetry, including This Time: New and Selected Poems (1998), winner of the National Book Award; Odd Mercy (1995); Bread Without Sugar (1992), winner of the Paterson Poetry Prize; Leaving Another Kingdom: Selected Poems (1990), Two Long Poems (1990); Lovesick (1987); Paradise Poems (1984), The Red Coal (1981), winner of the Melville Caine Award from the Poetry Society of American; Lucky Life (1977), which was nominated for the National Book Critics Circle Award and chosen as the 1977 Lamont Poetry Selection; The Naming of Beasts and Other Poems (1973); and Rejoicings (1973).
Stern has often been compared to Walt Whitman and Keats for his exploration of the self and the sometimes ecstatic exuberance of his verse. Yet in Stern's devoted evocations of the abandoned, the ruined and the fallen, the oracular urgency of his voice is often tempered by a heightened sensibility to the ironies of existence, placing him apart from predecessors and contemporaries alike. As poet Hayden Carruth has observed: "It is extremely difficult to bring off the kind of poem Stern writes, doomsday among the tricycles and kittens. Most poets who try end up with trite magazine verse, predictabilities of faded irony. But Stern succeeds. . ."
Born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Stern did not publish his first volume of poetry (Rejoicings) until he was forty-eight. The years that followed witnessed a startling poetic output of ever increasing maturity and virtuosity. Highly original and often enigmatic, "Stern's poems lay bare his emotions while revealing almost nothing about their origins," writes Vernon Shetley in the New York Times Book Review.
Four times a recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship (one as Master Poet for his home state of Pennsylvania), Stern has also been awarded fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the Academy of American Poets, and the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts. He is also the winner of the Paris Review's Bernard Conners Award, the Bess Hokin Award for Poetry, the Ruth Lilly Prize, the Jerome J. Shestack Poetry Prize from the Academy of American Poets and the Pennsylvania Governor General's Award for Excellence in the Arts.
For many years Stern was a tenured faculty member at the Iowa Writer's Workshop. He now lives in Easton, Pennsylvania and New York City.
For additional information, contact the Writers Institute at 518-442-5620
or online at http://www.albany.edu/writers-inst.