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Spring 2007 John Ashbery Poetry Series Presents Internationally Acclaimed Poets

Emily M. Darrow
 Image Credit: Don Hamerman
SPRING 2007 JOHN ASHBERY POETRY SERIES AT BARD COLLEGE PRESENTS READINGS BY INTERNATIONALLY ACCLAIMED POETS John Ashbery and Stephen Ratcliffe Read on March 22; Mei-Mei Berssenbrugge and Sawako Nakayasu Read on April 12; Tracie Morris Performs on April 24
ANNANDALE-ON-HUDSON, N.Y.—The John Ashbery Poetry Series at Bard College presents a series of three readings by internationally acclaimed poets this spring. The first reading in the series is on Thursday, March 22, and features John Ashbery and Stephen Ratcliffe; the second reading, on Thursday, April 12, features Mei-Mei Berssenbrugge and Sawako Nakayasu; the final event is a performance/reading by Tracie Morris, on Tuesday, April 24. The programs, presented by The Bard Center, are free and open to the public and begin at 5:00 p.m. in the Bertelsmann Campus Center. No reservations are necessary. Seating is on a first-come, first-served basis. On Thursday, March 22, in the Weis Cinema of the Bertelsmann Campus Center, John Ashbery and Stephen Ratcliffe read from their recent work. Ashbery’s poetry collection, A Worldly Country. Notes from the Air: Selected Later Poems, will be published in 2007 by Ecco/HarperCollins. Best known as a poet, he has published numerous collections, beginning in 1953 with Turandot and Other Poems (Tibor de Nagy Editions). His Self-Portrait in a Convex Mirror (Viking, 1975) won the three major American prizes: the Pulitzer, National Book Award, and National Book Critics Circle Award. Other recent volumes include Your Name Here (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2000), Chinese Whispers (FSG, 2002), and Where Shall I Wander (Ecco/HarperCollins, 2005). His work has been translated into more than twenty languages. He delivered the Charles Eliot Norton Lectures at Harvard in 1989–90, published as Other Traditions (Harvard University Press, 2000). Since 1990 he has been the Charles P. Stevenson Jr. Professor of Languages and Literature at Bard College in Annandale-on-Hudson, New York. Ratcliffe’s most recent books of poetry are REAL (Avenue B, 2007), Portraits & Repetition (The Post-Apollo Press, 2002) and SOUND/(system) (Green Integer, 2002). Listening to Reading, a collection of essays on contemporary “experimental” poetry, was published by SUNY Press in 2000. He lives in Bolinas, California, and teaches at Mills College in Oakland. The second reading in the series, by Mei-Mei Berssenbrugge and Sawako Nakayasu, is on Thursday, April 12, in the Weis Cinema of the Bertelsmann Campus Center. Berssenbrugge was born in Beijing in 1947 and grew up in Massachusetts. Among her books are The Heat Bird (Burning Deck, 1983); Empathy (Station Hill, 1989); Sphericity (Kelsey Street, 1993); Endocrinology, an artist book with Kiki Smith (Kelsey Street, 1997); Four Year Old Girl (Kelsey Street 1998); Nest (Kelsey Street, 2003); and I Love Artists: New Selected and Poems (University of California Press, 2006). Sawako Nakayasu was born in Japan and has lived mostly in the United States since the age of six. Her books include Nothing fictional but the accuracy or arrangement (she, (Quale Press); So we have been given time Or, (Verse Press); and Hurry Home Honey (Burning Deck, forthcoming). Books of translations include Four From Japan (Litmus Press), featuring four contemporary poets; and To the Vast Blooming Sky (Seeing Eye Books), a chapbook of poems by the Japanese modernist Sagawa Chika. She is the recipient of the 2003 US-Japan Creative Artists’ Program Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts, and a 2006 PEN Translation Fund Grant for translating the poetry of Takashi Hiraide. Currently she is working on an insect-based project featuring ants, while editing the journal Factorial, which regularly features Japanese poetry. Her own writing has been translated into Japanese, Swedish, Arabic, and Vietnamese. Nakayasu is a Capstone Scholar in Japanese at Bard. The final event in the spring 2007 series is a performance/reading by Tracie Morris on Tuesday, April 24, in the multipurpose room of the Bertelsmann Campus Center. Morris is a multidisciplinary poet and performing artist as well as a writer, educator, scholar, and actor who has worked in theater, dance, music, and several genres in the visual arts. She has toured extensively throughout the United States, Canada, Europe, Africa, and Asia. Her sound poetry installations have been presented at the Whitney Museum and the Jamaica Center for Arts and Learning. Morris has written two books of poetry and has been recorded and anthologized in many media. She holds multiple degrees, including an M.F.A. and a Ph.D., from Hunter College and New York University. She is currently an assistant professor at Eastern Michigan University. Since 1995, the John Ashbery Poetry Series has brought leading contemporary poets to Bard for readings and discussion in an intimate setting. For further information about the series, call The Bard Center at. # # # (3.6.2007)

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This event was last updated on 04-25-2007