Saturday, August 21, 1999

Poet Robert Creeley, Winner of Frost Medal, to Visit Washington College

Chestertown, MD — Robert Creeley, one of the most influential literary figures of the postmodern age, will give a public reading at Washington College on Tuesday, September 7th. The reading begins at 8 p.m. in the Sophie Kerr Room of Miller Library.

Throughout the 1950s, Creeley was associated with the "Black Mountain Poets," a group of writers including Denise Levertov, Ed Dorn, Charles Olson, and others experimenting with new forms of poetry. Olson and Creeley together developed the concept of "projective verse," a kind of poety that abandoned traditional forms in favor of a freely constructed verse that took shape as the process of composing it was underway.

Creeley formulated one of the basic principles of this new poetry: the idea that "form is never more than an extension of content." Creeley’s much-imitated poetry is marked by minimalism and a compression of emotion into verse in which every syllable bears meaning. He was a leader in the generational shift that veered away from history and tradition as primary poetic sources and turned to personal experience.

He is a poet, novelist, short story writer, essayist, and editor who has won many honors for his writing, including a National Book Award nomination in 1962 for For Love, the Poetry Society of America’s Frost Medal in 1987, the Walt Whitman citation of merit in 1989, and the America Award for Poetry in 1995.

For several years Creeley was the David Gray Professor of Poetry and Letters at the State University of New York at Buffalo, where he still teaches.

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