Frank Bidart

Renowned poet to read at Washington University March 24 and 31

Award-winning poet Frank Bidart, the visiting Fannie Hurst Professor of Creative Literature in Washington University’s Department of English in Arts & Sciences, will read from his work at 8 p.m. Thursday, March 24. In addition, Bidart will give a talk on the craft of poetry at 8 p.m. Thursday, March 31.

Frank Bidart
Frank Bidart. Photo courtesy Farrar, Straus and Giroux.

Both events — sponsored by the English Department and The Writing Program in Arts & Sciences as part of the Spring Reading Series 2005 — are free and open to the public and take place in Hurst Lounge, Room 201, Duncker Hall. A reception will follow each, with copies of Bidart’s works available for purchase March 24.

Duncker Hall is located at the northwest corner of Brookings Quadrangle, near the intersection of Brookings and Hoyt drives. For more information, call (314) 935-7130.

Bidart is the author of numerous books of poetry. In the Western Night: Collected Poems 1965-90 (1990) gathered his first three volumes — The Golden State (1973), The Book of the Body (1979) and The Sacrifice (1983) — along with new poems, while Desire (1997) was a finalist for both the National Book Award and the National Book Critics’ Circle Award. Other collections include Music Like Dirt (2002) and the forthcoming Star Dust. He also co-edited, with David Gewanter, Robert Lowell’s Collected Poems (2003).

“Frank Bidart is one of our most arresting original poets, who has fused the traditions of poetry, theater, and cinema to create a kind of meditation-in-constant-motion on that ever-shifting and controversial subject, morality — morality, in particular, as it applies to the conduct of the body, and to how to negotiate the tension between the competing desires of mind and body,” said Carl Phillips, professor of English and African & African-American Studies in Arts & Sciences. “What does it mean to have a body? How much of what we do is of our choosing? Do we get to choose? These are among the demanding questions that Bidart’s work asks of us, even as it offers its own often-harrowing answers.”

Calendar Summary

WHO: Poet Frank Bidart

WHAT: Two events

WHEN: Reading from his work: 8 p.m. Thursday, March 24; Talk on craft of poetry 8 p.m. Thursday, March 31

WHERE: Hurst Lounge, Room 201 Duncker Hall

COST: Free

INFORMATION: (314) 935-7130

Bidart’s many honors include the Lila Wallace-Reader’s Digest Foundation Writer’s Award; the American Academy of Arts and Letters’ Morton Dauwen Zabel Award; and the Poetry Society of America’s Shelley Award. In 2003, he was elected Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets. He teaches at Wellesley College in Massachusetts.