The Poetry Society is delighted to host a special event in collaboration with Carcanet Press with Pulitzer-Prize winning American poet Jorie Graham. Jorie will read from her work (including her latest collection Fast), discuss her work in conversation with T.S.Eliot prize-winning poet Sarah Howe, and sign books afterwards.
Jorie Graham was born in New York City in 1950, the daughter of a journalist and a sculptor. She was raised in Rome, Italy and educated in French schools. She studied philosophy at the Sorbonne in Paris before attending New York University as an undergraduate, where she studied filmmaking. She received an MFA in poetry from the University of Iowa. Her numerous collections of poetry include Fast (2017), From the New World: Poems 1976-2014, P L A C E (2012), which won the Forward Prize, and The Dream of the Unified Field: Selected Poems 1974-1994, winner of the 1996 Pulitzer prize for Poetry. Her other poetry collections include Sea Change, Overlord, Never, Swarm, The Errancy, Materialism, Region of Unlikeness, The End of Beauty, Erosion, and Hybrids of Plants and Ghosts. She served as a Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets from 1997 to 2003 and has also edited two anthologies, Earth Took of Earth: 100 Great Poems of the English Language (1996) and Best American Poetry 1990. Her many honors include a John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Fellowship and the Morton Dauwen Zabel Award from The American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters. She has taught at the University of Iowa Writers’ Workshop and is currently the Boylston Professor of Rhetoric and Oratory at Harvard University. She served as a Chancellor of The Academy of American Poets from 1997 to 2003. In August 2017 she was awarded the $100,000 Wallace Stevens Award for life time achievement by the Academy of American Poets.
About her work, James Longenbach wrote in the New York Times: “For 30 years Jorie Graham has engaged the whole human contraption — intellectual, global, domestic, apocalyptic — rather than the narrow emotional slice of it most often reserved for poems. She thinks of the poet not as a recorder but as a constructor of experience. Like Rilke or Yeats, she imagines the hermetic poet as a public figure, someone who addresses the most urgent philosophical and political issues of the time simply by writing poems.”
Sarah Howe is a British poet, academic and editor. Her first book, Loop of Jade (Chatto & Windus, 2015), won the T.S. Eliot Prize and The Sunday Times/PFD Young Writer of the Year Award, and was shortlisted for the Seamus Heaney Centre Poetry Prize and the Forward Prize for Best First Collection. Born in Hong Kong in 1983 to an English father and Chinese mother, she moved to England as a child. Her pamphlet, A Certain Chinese Encyclopedia(Tall-lighthouse, 2009), won an Eric Gregory Award from the Society of Authors.
Her poems have appeared in journals including Poetry Review, Poetry London, The Guardian, The Sunday Times, The Financial Times, The Telegraph, Ploughshares and Poetry, as well as anthologies such as Ten: The New Wave and four editions of The Best British Poetry. She has performed her work at festivals internationally and on BBC Radio 3 & 4. She is the founding editor of Prac Crit, an online journal of poetry and criticism.
From 2010-2015, she was a Research Fellow at Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge, before taking up a Leverhulme Early Career Fellowship at University College London. Previous honours include a Hawthorden Fellowship and the Harper-Wood Studentship for English Poetry, as well as fellowships from Harvard University’s Radcliffe Institute and the Civitella Ranieri Foundation. She is a Lecturer in Poetry at King’s College London.
Picture credit: Hayley Madden