Virtual Poetry Reading by Rosanna Warren and Major Jackson

Tuesday, October 6, 2020 - 6:00pm - 7:00pm
Event Presenter/Author: 
Rosanna Warren and Major Jackson

Rosanna Warren and Major Jackson read selections of poetry.

Presented in partnership with the Boston University Center for the Humanities and the Center for Interdisciplinary Teaching & Learning at the College of General Studies

Virtual event

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About Rosanna Warren: Rosanna Warren is the author of several books of poetry, including So Forth, published by W.W. Norton in 2020, Ghost in a Red Hat (2011) and Departure (2003). She is the Hanna Holborn Gray Distinguished Service Professor in the Committee on Social Thought at the University of Chicago. Her book of criticism, Fables of the Self: Studies in Lyric Poetry, came out in 2008. Her most recent books of poems are Departure (2003), Ghost in a Red Hat (2011), and So Forth (2020). In 1995, Oxford University Press published the verse translation of Euripides’ The Suppliant Women she composed with Stephen Scully, and her anthology of essays on translation, The Art of Translation: Voices from the Field, appeared in 1989. She is the recipient of awards from the Academy of American Poets, The American Academy of Arts & Letters, the Lila Wallace Foundation, the Guggenheim Foundation, the American Council of Learned Societies, and the New England Poetry Club, among others. She was a Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets from 1999 to 2005, and is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the American Philosophical Society.

About So Forth: With irony, in mourning tinged with eros, one of our most extraordinary poets blends the personal and the political to meditate on damage, aging, and injustice. The poems in So Forth surge back in memory, pondering guilt and forgiveness. Consciousness flows from singular to plural; identity in these poems does a round dance with other personae, with formidable women artists of the past in the powerful sequence "Legende of Good Women," with pre-Socratic philosophers, and with lovers, children, and strangers--the strangest of whom is the face in the mirror. In response to griefs both historical and contemporary, So Forth contemplates the quest for the holy and traditions of the sacred.

About Major Jackson: Major Jackson is the author of five volumes of poetry, including The Absurd Man, Roll Deep, and Leaving Saturn, which won the Cave Canem Poetry Prize for a first book of poems. He has edited Best American Poetry 2019 and is a recipient of fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown. He has been awarded a Pushcart Prize and a Whiting Writers’ Award, and his work has appeared in American Poetry Review, The New Yorker, and the Paris Review, among other publications. The poetry editor of the Harvard Review, Jackson lives in South Burlington, Vermont, where he is a University Distinguished Professor at the University of Vermont.

About The Absurd Man: Inspired by Albert Camus's seminal Myth of Sisyphus, Major Jackson's fifth volume subtly configures the poet as "absurd hero" and plunges headfirst into a search for stable ground in an unstable world. We follow Jackson's restless, vulnerable speaker as he ponders creation in the face of meaninglessness, chronicles an increasingly technological world and the difficulty of social and political unity, probes a failed marriage, and grieves his lost mother with a stunning, lucid lyricism. The arc of a man emerges; he bravely confronts his past, including his betrayals and his mistakes, and questions who he is as a father, as a husband, as a son, and as a poet. With intense musicality and verve, The Absurd Man also faces outward, finding refuge in intellectual and sensuous passions. At once melancholic and jubilant, Jackson considers the journey of humanity, with all its foibles, as a sacred pattern of discovery reconciled by art and the imagination.

Event Location: 
Virtual