University of Rochester

EVENT: Clark Series Brings Three Major Poets to Campus

February 14, 2000

Two Pulitzer Prize winners and a Pulitzer Prize finalist headline a writing and lecture series at the University of Rochester this spring. The three poets will come to River Campus in March and April as part of the Donald R. Clark Enrichment Program in Contemporary Writing.

The series features Mark Strand, who received the 1999 Pulitzer Prize for his most recent volume, Blizzard of One; Louise Glück, Pulitzer Prize-winner for her collection, Wild Iris; and Frank Bidart, whose 1997 book Desire won the Bobbitt National Prize from the Library of Congress and was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. The three will meet with students in English professor James Longenbach's undergraduate poetry classes and will give public readings of their poems as well.

The schedule of readings is: Louis Glück, Thursday, March 16; Mark Strand, Thursday, March 30; and Frank Bidart, Thursday, April 13. Each reading, which is free and open to the public, begins at 7 p.m. in Lander Auditorium in Hutchison Hall and is preceded by a reception at 6:30.

Glück is the author of eight books of poems and a collection of essays, Proofs and Theories: Essays on Poetry, which received the PEN/Martha Albrand Award for Nonfiction. She has also won the National Book Critics Circle Award for Poetry, the Lannan Literary Award, and the William Carlos Williams Award. Glück is a Fellow of the Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Glück currently serves as a senior lecturer in English at Williams College, and frequently reads at universities across the country and overseas. She has also given poetry readings at the White House, the Library of Congress, the Guggenheim Museum, and the Chicago Art Museum.

Strand was born on Canada's Prince Edward Island in 1934, and was raised and educated in the United States and South America. He is the author of 10 books of poems, as well as two books of prose and three books for children.

Strand's honors include the Bollingen Prize, three grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, a National Institute of Arts and Letters Award, the Edgar Allan Poe Prize, a Rockefeller Foundation Award, and numerous fellowships. Strand has served as Poet Laureate of the United States, and currently teaches in the Committee of Social Thought at the University of Chicago.

Bidart was born in Bakersfield, California, in 1939. Upon earning his bachelor's degree from the University of California-Riverside, Bidart went on to obtain his master's degree from Harvard, where he was a friend of poets Robert Lowell and Elizabeth Bishop.

Bidart's numerous honors and awards include a Lila Wallace-Reader's Digest Foundation Writer's Award, the Shelley Award of the Poetry Society of America, and The Paris Review's Bernard F. Conner's Prize. He teaches at Wellesley College in Massachusetts, and currently is editing a collection of Robert Lowell's poems.

The late Donald R. Clark and his late wife Mary Clark were longtime friends and supporters of the University. They supported musculoskeletal research in orthopedics as well as the pulmonary unit at the Medical Center. A successful businessman, Mr. Clark pursued interests in literature, music, photography, and conservation. The Donald R. Clark Endowment for Humanities, which will fund the contemporary writing program, was established to support new ideas, programs, and teaching in the humanities.