Poets Yusef Komunyakaa and Bill Tremblay Are First to Appear in Fall Series

September 24, 2013

The Susan and Donald Newhouse Center for the Humanities Fall 2013 Distinguished Writers Series kicks off September 24 with a reading by poets Yusef Komunyakaa and Bill Tremblay. The other events in the series take place on October 7, October 21, and November 19, 2013. All readings take place at 4:30 p.m. at the Newhouse Center, Green Hall second floor, and are free and open to the public.

Readings are followed by a Q&A with the authors; the September 24 conversation is moderated by Selwyn Cudjoe, Margaret E. Deffenbaugh and LeRoy T. Carlson Professor in Comparative Literature and Professor of Africana Studies. A book signing also follows the reading.

Yusef Komunyakaa & Bill Tremblay, September 24, 2013

Yusef Komunyakaa is an American poet who currently teaches at New York University and is a member of the Fellowship of Southern Writers. Komunyakaa is the recipient of the 1994 Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award and the 1994 Pulitzer Prize for Poetry. He also received the Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize and the 2007 Louisiana Writer Award for his enduring contribution to the poetry world. His subject matter ranges from the black general experience through rural Southern life before the Civil Rights time period and his experience as a soldier during the Vietnam War.

Bill Tremblay is an award-winning poet as well as a novelist, teacher, editor, and reviewer whose work has appeared in seven full-length volumes of poetry. In 1994, he published his first novel, The June Rise, which was widely and favorably reviewed. In 2004, his book Shooting Script: Door of Fire received the Colorado Book Award and the ForeWard Magazine "Silver Award." Mr. Tremblay founded and for 15 years edited Colorado Review and is the recipient of the John F. Stern Distinguished Professor award for his 33 years teaching in and directing the MFA in Creative Writing Program at Colorado State University.

Maud Casey & Karen Russell, October 7, 2013

Maud Casey is the author of two novels, The Shape of Things to Come, a New York Times Notable Book of the Year, and Genealogy, as well as a collection of stories, Drastic. Her stories, essays, and reviews have appeared in The American ScholarThe New York TimesOxford American, A Public SpaceSalon, and The Threepenny Review. She has received international fellowships from the Fundaçion Valparaiso, the Hawthornden International Retreat for Writers, Villa Hellebosch, Château de Lavigny, and Dora Maar, and is the recipient of the Calvino Prize. Her novel The Man Who Walked Away is forthcoming from Bloomsbury.

Karen Russell’s debut novel, Swamplandia!, was chosen by The New York Times as one of its Ten Best Books of 2011, and was long-listed for The Orange Prize. Russell has been featured in The New Yorker’s “20 Under 40” list, and was chosen as one of Granta’s Best Young American Novelists. In 2009, she received the “5 Under 35” award from the National Book Foundation. Formerly a writer-in-residence at Bard College and Bryn Mawr College, she is the recipient of the Mary Ellen von der Heyden Berlin Prize and was awarded a fellowship at the American Academy in Berlin. Russell is also the author of the celebrated short-story collection, St. Lucy’s Home for Girls Raised by Wolves and the novel Vampires in the Lemon Grove (Knopf, January 2013). Russell received her B.A. from Northwestern University in 2003, and her M.F.A. from Columbia University in 2006.

Siddartha Deb, October 21, 2013

Siddhartha Deb was born in northeastern India in 1970. His first novel, The Point of Return, was a New York Times Notable Book of the Year. His reviews and journalism have appeared in the Boston Globethe Guardian, The Nationthe New Statesman, and the Times Literary Supplement. He came to New York on a literary fellowship in 1998, and now divides his time between India and New York.

Cate Marvin & Robert Pinsky, November 19, 2013

Cate Marvin’s first book, World’s Tallest Disaster, was chosen by Robert Pinsky for the 2000 Kathryn A. Morton Prize and published by Sarabande Books in 2001. In 2002, she received the Kate Tufts Discovery Prize. She co-edited with poet Michael Dumanis the anthology Legitimate Dangers: American Poets of the New Century (Sarabande Books, 2006). Her poems have appeared in Tin House, Virginia Quarterly Review, The New England ReviewPoetryThe Kenyon ReviewFenceThe Paris ReviewThe Cincinnati Review, SlateVerseBoston Review, and Ninth Letter. Her second book of poems, Fragment of the Head of a Queen, for which she received a Whiting Award, was published by Sarabande in 2007. Marvin teaches poetry writing in Lesley University’s Low-Residency M.F.A. Program and Columbia University’s M.F.A. Program and is an associate professor in creative writing at the College of Staten Island, City University of New York. Her third book of poems, Oracle, is forthcoming from W.W. Norton & Co. in 2013.

Robert Pinsky served as poet laureate of the United States from 1997 to 2000. During his tenure he created the Favorite Poem Project to document, promote, and celebrate poetry’s place in American culture. In addition to three anthologies co-edited by Pinsky, Americans’ Favorite PoemsPoems to Read, and An Invitation to Poetry, the project has produced 50 short documentaries showcasing Americans reading and speaking about poems they love. Pinsky’s most recent books of poems are Gulf Music (2007) and Jersey Rain (2000). The Figured Wheel: New and Collected Poems 1966-1996 was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize and received both the Lenore Marshall Award and the Ambassador Book Award of the English Speaking Union. His other awards include the Shelley Memorial Award, the William Carlos Williams Prize, and the Los Angeles Times Book Award, as well as the Howard Morton Landon Translation Prize for his bestselling translation of The Inferno of Dante. Among his prose works are The Sounds of Poetry: A Brief Guide and the recent Democracy, Culture and the Voice of Poetry. Pinsky teaches in the graduate writing program at Boston University and is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the American Academy of Arts and Letters. He is also poetry editor of Slate magazine. Pinsky taught at Wellesley College from 1968 to 1980.

Please visit www.newhouse-center.org for more information about the series and other great Newhouse events.