Oct. 7, 1999
Vol. 19 No. 2

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    [frank bidart] [john taggart]
    Frank Bidart and John Taggart

    Visiting poets will go beyond usual readings by lecturing on their craft

    By Jennifer Leovy
    News Office

    Frank Bidart and John Taggart are the first two poets who will visit the University for the “American Poetry at the Millennium: Lecture and Reading Series,” which will continue throughout the 1999-00 academic year. The poets will read from their own works the first day of their visit and present a lecture the second day.

    Frank Bidart

    5:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 14, in Classics 10––Poetry reading

    3:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 15, in Wieboldt 408––Lecture, “Pre-Existing Forms: we fill them and, when we fill them, we change them and are changed”

    Frank Bidart, a professor at Wellesley College, has gained a reputation not only for his insistent textual punctuation in his work but for his strenuous performances of his work. Robert von Hallberg, Professor in Germanic Studies, said, “By the end of a reading, he is usually exhausted and dripping with sweat. He is a very dramatic reader!”

    Among his collections are In the Western Night: Collected Poems 1965-90 (Farrar, Straus & Giroux), Golden State (George Braziller Incorporated) and The Sacrifice (Random House).

    Bidart’s newest work, Desire, was a finalist for the National Book Award and the National Book Critic’s Circle Award in 1997. He also has received the Lila Wallace-Reader’s Digest Foundation Writer’s Award, the Morton Dauwen Zabel Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters and the Shelley Award of the Poetry Society of America.

    Bidart is currently editing an edition of his friend Robert Lowell’s collected poems.

    John Taggart

    5:30 p.m. Monday, Oct. 18, in Classics 10––Poetry reading

    3 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 19, in Wieboldt 408––Lecture, “New Song: Chicago Improvisations”

    University alumnus John Taggart (A.M., ’66) is known as a poet’s poet for his experimental, avant-garde style. The Dictionary of Literary Biography describes Taggart as a unique 20th-century American poet for his emphasis on musicality, drawn from jazz and classical traditions.

    A professor of literature and creative writing at Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania, Taggart’s poetry and criticism have appeared in magazines, literary journals and anthologies such as the Chicago Review and The North American Review. Among his collections of verse are To Construct A Clock (Elizabeth Press), Prism and the Pine Twig: An Interlude (Elizabeth Press), Loop (Sun & Moon Press) and Crosses (Sun & Moon Press).

    He has been awarded a Ford Foundation Fellowship, a Distinguished Academic Service Award from the Pennsylvania Department of Education and two National Endowment for the Arts Writing Fellowships.

    For biographical information about poets and to join in online conversations about poetry, visit www.poets.org.

    More on the “American Poetry at the Millennium: Lecture and Reading Series”