Renowned poet Bidart to read

Award-winning poet Frank Bidart, the visiting Fannie Hurst Professor of Creative Literature in the Department of English in Arts & Sciences, will read from his work March 24 and will give a talk on the craft of poetry March 31.

Both events — sponsored by the Department of English and The Writing Program, both in Arts & Sciences, as part of the 2005 Spring Reading Series — will begin at 8 p.m. in Hurst Lounge, Duncker Hall, Room 201.

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

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 of African & Afro-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.”

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.

Both WUSTL events are free and open to the public, with a reception following each. Copies of Bidart’s work will be available for purchase March 24.

For more information, call 935-7130.