Readings in Contemporary Poetry

Saturday, March 22, 2003
548 West 22nd Street, NYC, 4:00pm

Richard Howard


Richard Howard was born in 1929 in Cleveland and studied at Columbia University and the Sorbonne. After working for some years as a lexicographer, he began making translations from the French and has now published over 200 works, including volumes by Cioran, Stendhal, Barthes, Deleuze, Foucault, Gracq, Gide, Robbe-Grillet, Butor and Claude Simon; in 1983 he received the American Book Award for his translation of Baudelaire's Fleurs du mal. In 1970 he was awarded a Pulitzer Prize for his third book of poems, Untitled Subjects, and has since published nine more volumes of verse. He has received the Academy of Arts and Letters Award for his poetry; the PEN Translation Prize, and the Lifetime Achievement Award from the New York Critics Circle, as well as a MacArthur Fellowship. In 2002 he was made an Officer of the Legion of Honor, having served as Poet Laureate of New York State (1986), Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets (1973-93) and President of P.E.N.-American Center (1978-9). His comprehensive critical study, Alone With America: Studies in the Art of Poetry in the United States since 1950, originally published in 1969, was reissued in an expanded edition in 1980. He is currently the poetry editor of The Paris Review and The Western Humanities Review and Professor of Practice in the School of the Arts (Writing Division) at Columbia University.

Maxine Kumin


Maxine Kumin was born in Germantown, Philadephia, in 1925. She attained a BA and MA from Radcliffe before it was subsumed by Harvard, was a Scholar in 1962-3 at the Radcliffe Institute for Independent Study, and now lives with her husband of 55 years on an old farm in central New Hampshire. Kumin is the author of 13 books of poems, most recently The Long Marriage, preceded by Selected Poems 1960-1990, Connecting the Dotsand Looking for Luck. In July of 1998, she suffered a near-fatal carriage-driving accident, recorded in her memoir, Inside the Halo and Beyond: Anatomy of a Recovery She has also written three essay collections, including Always Beginning: Essays on a Life in Poetry, a collection of short stories, four novels and an animal rights murder mystery, Quit Monks or Die! In 1973, Kumin was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Up Country, her fourth book of poems. She has also received the Aiken Taylor Prize, the Poets' Prize, and the Ruth E. Lilly Poetry Prize as well as a grant from the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters and a National Council on the Arts fellowship. She served as Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress before that post was renamed Poet Laureate of the United States, and as the Poet Laureate of New Hampshire from 1989 to 1994.