The Poetry Reading Series at Boston University, Fall 2014

Co-sponsored by the College of General Studies and the BU Center for the Humanities (BUCH), the Poetry Reading Series strives to make poetry a fundamental part of university and community life. By presenting the work of both renowned and emerging poets, the series attempts to broaden our vision of poetry’s concerns and effects. In the past, the series has featured readings by Jorie Graham, Thomas Sayers Ellis, Geoffrey Hill, Vona Groarke, Gjertrud Schnackenberg, Marilyn Hacker, David Ferry, and Linda Gregg, among others.

All readings are free and open to the public. Details can be found on the CGS calendar. Please direct any questions to Meg Tyler,, 617-358-4199.

Schedule of Events:

Christopher Ricks: Two Lectures on T.S. Eliot

Date/Time: Thursday September 25, 6 p.m.: “T.S. Eliot and the Great War”

  Thursday October 2, 6 p.m.: “T.S. Eliot and the Second World War”

Location: Katzenberg Center, 3rd floor, CGS

About: Co-director of the Editorial Institute, Christopher Ricks is the William M. and Sara B. Warren Professor of the Humanities at Boston University, having formerly been professor of English at Bristol and at Cambridge. He is a member of the Association of Literary Scholars, Critics, and Writers, of which he was president (2007-2008). He was elected Professor of Poetry at Oxford in 2004, and is known both for his critical studies and for his editorial work. The latter includes The Poems of Tennyson (revised 1987), The New Oxford Book of Victorian Verse(1987), Inventions of the March Hare: Poems 1909-1917 by T. S. Eliot (1996), The Oxford Book of English Verse (1999), Selected Poems of James Henry (2002), Samuel Menashe’s New and Selected Poems (2005), Samuel Beckett’s The Expelled / The Calmative / The End / First Love(2009), Henry James’s What Maisie Knew (2010) and for Penguin Books Alfred Lord Tennyson: Selected Poems (2007). He is the author of Milton’s Grand Style (1963), Keats and Embarrassment(1974), The Force of Poetry (1984), T. S. Eliot and Prejudice (1988), Tennyson (1989), Beckett’s Dying Words (1993), Essays in Appreciation (1996), Allusion to the Poets (2002), Reviewery (2002), Decisions and Revisions in T. S. Eliot (2003), Dylan’s Visions of Sin (2004), and True Friendship: Geoffrey Hill, Anthony Hecht, and Robert Lowell under the Sign of Eliot and Pound (2010).

Co-sponsored by the BUCH and the Association of Literary Scholars, Critics and Writers (ALSCW).

 Slavic Voices: An Evening of Poetry and Music with Sylva Fischerova, Dzvinia Orlowsky, and Vera Pavlova

Date/Time: Wednesday, October 15, 7 p.m.

Location: Boston University Castle, 225 Bay State Road

About: Sylva Fischerová was born in 1963 in Prague. She grew up in the Moravian town of Olomouc as a daughter of non-Marxist philosopher whose works were banished under communist rule. She returned to Prague to study philosophy and physics, and later Greek and Latin, at Charles University where she now teaches ancient Greek literature and philosophy. She has published six volumes of poems in Czech, and her poetry has been translated and published in numerous languages. An earlier selection of her poems, The Tremor of Racehorses, translated by Ian and Jarmila Milner, was published by Bloodaxe in 1990. She recently began to write prose, and a book of her stories Miracle, as well as a book for children, appeared in 2005. The Swing in the Middle of Chaos: Selected Poems, co-translated with Stuart Friebert, is published by Bloodaxe in 2009.

Vera Pavlova was born in Moscow. She is a graduate of the Schnittke College of Music and the Gnessin Academy of Music, where she specialized in history of music and wrote her dissertation on the chamber vocal cycles of Shostakovich. Pavlova has published fifteen collections of poetry, four opera librettos, and lyrics to two cantatas. Her works have been translated twenty-one languages. In the United States, Pavlova’s poems have appeared in Verse, Tin House, The New Yorker, and Poetry magazines, as well as in The New York Times. One of her poems was selected by the Poetry in Motion program and was displayed as a poster in subway cars in New York City and in Los Angeles buses; it was also issued as a bookmark by the Poetry Society of America. That poem has served as the title of Pavlova’s first collection in English, IF THERE IS SOMETHING TO DESIRE (Alfred A. Knopf Publishing, 2010), translated by her husband Steven Seymour who is a professional translator/interpreter.

Pushcart-Prize winner Dzvinia Orlowsky is the author of five poetry collections published by Carnegie Mellon University Press including her most recent, Silvertone and Convertible Night, Flurry of Stones, co-winner of the 2010 Sheila Motton Book Award. Her first collection, A Handful of Bees, was reprinted as a Carnegie Mellon University Contemporary Classic in 2008. Dzvinia’s poetry and translations have appeared in numerous anthologies, including A Map of Hope: An International Literary Anthology; From Three Worlds: New Writing from the Ukraine; and A Hundred Years of Youth: A Bilingual Anthology of 20th Century Ukrainian Poetry.

Live music will be provided by Aaron Larget-Caplan on classical guitar, Ludmilla Leibman on piano, and Maria Lyudko, soprano.

Co-sponsored by the Poetry Series, the Center for the Study of Europe, the Department of Modern Languages and Comparative Literature, and the literary journal AGNI.

Grey Gowrie: “Heaney’s Great Contemporaries” (lecture and reading)

Date/Time: Tuesday October 28, 6 p.m.

Location: Katzenberg Center, 3rd floor, CGS

About: Grey Gowrie was born in Dublin in 1939.  Educated and professionally engaged in England and the USA, he made his home in Ireland until 1983 when he moved to the Welsh Marches. He taught English and American literature at Harvard and University College London and in 1972, on publishing his first collection of poems, exchanged an academic career for business and public life. He has been a company chairman, a Cabinet minister, Chairman of the Arts Council of England and Provost of the Royal College of Art. While at Harvard, he acted as an assistant to Robert Lowell. He is the author of several volumes of poetry, including Postcard from Don Giovanni (OUP, 1972),  The Italian Visitor (Carcanet Press, 2013) and Third Day: New and Collected Poems (Sheep Meadow Press, 2013) as well as a book on the Irish painter, Derek Hill. He is married to the German journalist Adelheid von der Schulenburg and is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature.

Co-sponsored by the BUCH, the Editorial Institute, the Center for the Study of Europe, CITL at CGS and the Institute for the Study of Irish Culture.

Rosanna Warren: a poetry reading

Date/Time: Thursday October 30, 7 p.m.

Location: Katzenberg Center, 3rd floor, CGS

About: Rosanna Warren is an acclaimed poet, whose research interests include translation, literary biography, literature and the visual arts, and relations between classical and modern literature.

Her second collection of poetry, Stained Glass, received a Lamont Poetry Selection award from the American Academy of Poets in 1993. Her most recent book of poems is Ghost in a Red Hat, published in 2011. She is also the author of a book of literary criticism, Fables of the Self: Studies in Lyric Poetry, published in 2008. Warren is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and has served as chancellor of the Academy of American Poets. Among her numerous honors are a Pushcart Prize, the Witter Byner Poetry Prize, the Sara Teasdale Award in Poetry, and a Guggenheim Fellowship. During 2008 and 2009, Warren was a fellow of the Dorothy and Lewis B. Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers at the New York Public Library.

Co-sponsored by the BUCH, AGNI and CGS.