Wednesday, September 8, 1999

Poet Gerald Stern to Visit WC

Chestertown, MD — Poet Gerald Stern, winner of the 1998 National Book Award for Poetry, will give a public reading at Washington College on Thursday, September 16. The reading will begin at 8 p.m. in the Sophie Kerr Room of Miller Library.

Often heralded as the modern-day Walt Whitman, Stern has garnered praise for possessing a deep emotional sensibility and for wholeheartedly embracing the paradoxical nature of life. He writes, according to critics, "with enormous authority and intensity of the lot common to humanity -- of aging and death, of the tenderness of love, of family and friendship."

The author of nine books of poetry, Stern was 48 years old when his first collection, Rejoicings, appeared in 1973. His latest compendium, This Time: New and Selected Poems, received the 1998 National Book Award for Poetry. Among other awards, his works have received the Paterson Poetry Prize and the Melville Caine Award from the Poetry Society of America.

Stern's honors include the Paris Review's Bernard F. Conners Award, the Bess Hokin Award, the Ruth Lilly Prize, four National Endowment for the Arts grants, the Pennsylvania Governor's Award for Excellence in the Arts, the Jerome J. Shestack Poetry Prize from American Poetry Review, and fellowships from The Academy of American Poets, the Guggenheim Foundation, and the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts. He has taught at numerous universities and spent 13 years on the faculty of the Iowa Writer's Workshop.

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