Poet D.A. Powell to read from his work March 3

Poet D.A. Powell, a finalist for this year’s National Book Critics Circle Award in poetry, will read from his work at 8 p.m. March 3 as part of the Writing Program Spring Reading Series.

The reading is free and open to the public and will take place in Hurst Lounge, Duncker Hall, Room 201.

D.A. Powell
D.A. Powell

Powell was nominated by the National Book Critics Circle for Cocktails (2004), his harrowing yet disturbingly witty collection of poems born out of the AIDS pandemic and the transformative worlds of the cinema, the cocktail lounge and the Gospels. Winners will be announced March 18 at the organization’s 31st annual awards ceremony in New York.

Powell’s previous collections include Lunch (2000), a finalist for the James Laughlin Award; and Tea (1998). He has also published poems in Boston Review, Chicago Review, Denver Quarterly, Iowa Review, New American Writing and other journals, as well as in anthologies such as American Poetry: Next Generation and The New Young American Poets.

“Powell recognizes in the contemporary the latest manifestations of a much older tradition: namely, what it is to be human,” noted Carl Phillips, professor of English and of African and Afro-American Studies, both in Arts & Sciences, in the citation for Boston Review’s Annual Award in Poetry, which Powell received in 2001.

“I admire these poems immensely, for their deftness with craft, their originality of vision, their ability to fuse old and new without devolving to gimmick — and for a dignity as jazzily inventive as it is sheer.”

Additional honors include a Paul Engle Fellowship from the James Michener Foundation, a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship, a Pushcart Prize, Prairie Schooner’s Larry Levis Award in Poetry, an Academy of American Poets Prize and the Lyric Poetry Award from the Poetry Society of America.

Powell is an assistant professor at the University of San Francisco.

A reception and book-signing will follow the reading, and copies of his books will be available for purchase.

For more information, call 935-7130.