New York State Writers Institute
Stanley Kunitz
Stanley Kunitz
March 20, 2002

4:00 Informal Seminar, Recital Hall, PAC
UAlbany, Uptown Campus

8:00 p.m. Joint Reading

Page Hall, 135 Western Avenue
UAlbany, Downtown Campus

Marie Howe
Marie Howe

Stanley Kunitz, the 2000 and 1974-76 Poet Laureate of the United States, is widely regarded as the most distinguished living American poet. The winner of such honors as the Pulitzer Prize (1959), the Bollingen Prize in Poetry (1987), the National Medal of Arts (1993), and the National Book Award (1995), among numerous others, the ninety-six year old Kunitz shows no signs of slowing down. Still writing, publishing, touring, and teaching, he remains, as David Barber of Atlantic Monthly notes, "not only one of the most widely admired figures in contemporary poetry but also, rarer still, a true ambassador for his art."

Kunitz is the author of twelve books of poetry including Passing Through: Later Poems, New and Selected (1995), Next-to-Last Things: New Poems and Essays (1985), The Coat Without a Seam: Sixty Poems, 1930-1972 (1974), Selected Poems, 1928-1958 (1958), and his first collection, Intellectual Things (1930). His most recent publication, The Collected Poems (2000), brings together a lifetime of the poet's work. As Booklist notes, "To read this collection of 70 years of exacting, metaphysically inquiring, and consistently lithe, beautiful, and moving poetry is to trace the evolution of a century and one man's spirit and sensibility . . . Kunitz writes of love with wondering inventiveness."

Marie Howe wowed readers and critics alike with her first book of poems, The Good Thief (1988). Selected by Margaret Atwood as the 1989 winner of the National Poetry Series, the book explored the themes of relationship, attachment, and loss in a uniquely personal search for transcendence. Said Atwood, "Marie Howe's poetry doesn't fool around. ..these poems are intensely felt, sparely expressed, and difficult to forget; poems of obsession that transcend their own dark roots." More acclaim poured in from none other than Stanley Kunitz: "Marie Howe's poetry is luminous, intense, and eloquent, rooted in an abundant inner life. Her long, deep-breathing lines address the mysteries of flesh and spirit, in terms accessible only to a woman who is very much of our time and yet still in touch with the sacred."

Howe's equally acclaimed second book, What the Living Do (1997), addressed the grief of losing a loved one. "The tentative transformation of agonizing, slow-motion loss into redemption is Howe's signal achievement in this wrenching second collection," said Publisher's Weekly, in choosing it as one of the five best volumes of poetry published that year.

Howe is also the co-editor of a book of essays, In the Company of My Solitude: American Writing from the AIDS Pandemic (1994). She currently teaches writing at Columbia University's School of the Arts, and has previously taught at Sarah Lawrence College and NYU. Her poems have been published in such journals as The Atlantic, Poetry, Ploughshares, and The Partisan Review.

Stanley Kunitz, NYS Author
Writers Online Magazine Article (Kunitz)
Writers Online Magazine Article (Howe)