April 7: Mysticism for Beginners is the title of one of Adam Zagajewski’s collections of poetry and of one of his poems. Using this theme as a starting point, he will address the spiritual element in contemporary poetry and ask, “Can poetry go beyond mysticism for beginners?” Adam Zagajewski was born in Lvov, Poland, in 1945. He is the author of three more books of poetry: Tremor, Canvas, and Without End; and four essay collections: Solidarity, Solitude, Two Cities, and Another Beauty; and the newly published A Defense of Ardor. A recent recipient of the Neustadt prize, Zagajewski teaches at the University of Houston.
April 14: In this lecture, “The Enigma of the Creative Process,” Edward Hirsch will explore the extraordinary magic, nature, and inspiration behind creativity. Edward Hirsch is the author of six volumes of poetry, including Lay Back the Darkness, Wild Gratitude, The Night Parade, and Earthly Measures, which received the National Book Critics Circle Award. His book, How to Read a Poem and Fall in Love with Poetry, is an exploration of poetry and feeling. Mr. Hirsch has received a Guggenheim Fellowship, the Prix de Rome, and an American Academy of Arts and Letters Award for Literature. In 1998 he was granted a MacArthur Fellowship and is currently president of the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation.
April 17: A Reading by Grace Paley. Grace Paley is a poet and short story writer. Among her works are Little Disturbances of Man, Enormous Changes at the Last Minute, Later the Same Day, and most recently, Begin Again: Collected Poems. Ms. Paley taught for years at Sarah Lawrence College and City College of New York and has for many years been active in anti-war, feminist, and other social causes. Among her awards are a Guggenheim Fellowship, a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, an award from the National Institute of Arts and Letters, and a Senior Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts. She is currently the Poet Laureate of Vermont.