Johns Hopkins Gazette | March 30, 2009
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The newspaper of The Johns Hopkins University March 30, 2009 | Vol. 38 No. 28
Richard Wilbur to Give Turnbull Powetry Lecture on March 30

Renowned American poet Richard Wilbur will give the Percy Graeme Turnbull Memorial Poetry Lecture at 6:30 p.m. today, March 30, in Mudd Hall Auditorium on the Homewood campus.

This will be Wilbur's second time as a Turnbull lecturer at Johns Hopkins. He gave his first Turnbull lecture in 1961.

Wilbur is considered one of the most distinguished poets America has ever produced. A former poet laureate of the United States, he was twice winner of the Pulitzer Prize in poetry (for Things of This World and New and Collected Poems) and is the author of many other books, from The Beautiful Changes and Other Poems of 1947 to his just-completed translation of Corneille's Le Cid. He is noted for his translations of poets from Villon to Brodsky, and his versions of Moliere's plays, performed around the world, are roundly regarded as definitive.

Wilbur is also the author of children's books, including The Pig in the Spigot, The Disappearing Alphabet and Opposites, More Opposites, and a Few Differences.

He was born in 1921 in New York City and is a graduate of Amherst College. A longtime professor at Smith, Wesleyan and other institutions, he returned to Amherst in the 2008-2009 academic year to co-teach courses in its English Department. His scholarship is evident in his books of essays and in his editions of Shakespeare and Poe. Winner of nearly every prize available to an American poet, he is also honored in France as a chevalier of the Ordre de Palmes Academiques. He lives in Massachusetts.

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, Northrop Frye, W.S. Merwin and Harold Bloom. The event is sponsored by the Writing Seminars.


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