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Office of News and Information
Johns Hopkins University
3003 N. Charles Street, Suite 100
Baltimore, Maryland 21218-3843
Phone: (410) 516-7160 | Fax (410) 516-5251

April 11, 2002
CONTACT: Amy Cowles
(410) 516-7160

W.S. Merwin to Give Turnbull Memorial Poetry Lecture

W.S. Merwin, a Pulitzer Prize-winning poet and translator and a former poetry consultant to the Library of Congress, will give the Percy Graeme Turnbull Memorial Poetry Lecture at 8 p.m. on Monday, April 22, in 111 Mergenthaler Hall on The Johns Hopkins University s Homewood campus, 3400 N. Charles St. in Baltimore.

During Merwin s 50-year career, he has become one of the most widely read and imitated poets in America. A minister s son, Merwin began writing hymns when he was 5. As a young man, he discovered a facility for languages that led him to work as a literary translator in Europe. Translating medieval poetry shaped his early poetic voice, which has shifted into his distinct American voice over the years. Merwin won the Pulitzer Prize in 1970 for his book of poems The Carrier of Ladders. His other awards include the Tanning Prize, the Bollingen Prize, and the Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize. Merwin s latest works include the poetry collections The River Sound and The Pupil, as well as a new translation of Dante s Purgatorio.

The Turnbull Poetry Lecture, given through the generosity of a gift made in 1889 in memory of Percy Graeme Turnbull (1878-87), has brought to Homewood some of the most distinguished voices in American poetry and criticism, including Robert Frost, T.S. Eliot, Marianne Moore, W.H. Auden, Charles Eliot Norton, R.P. Blackmur and Northrop Frye.

After his reading, Mervin will host a book-signing session at 9:15 p.m. The event is free and open to the public. For more information, call the Writing Seminars Department at (410) 516-6286.

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