Stanley Plumly and Poetry (2009)

October 29-30, 2009
Tawes Hall, University of Maryland

 

Overview

On October 29-30, the Center for Literary and Comparative Studies and the Department of English will host "A Celebration of Stanley Plumly and Poetry," in honor of one of the foremost poets in the United States. Plumly, Distinguished University Professor of English, is the author of ten books, most recently Posthumous Keats (Norton, 2008) and Old Heart (Norton, 2007), winner of the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for poetry and the Paterson Poetry Award for Best Book of 2007.

At a time when the National Endowment for the Arts reports that Americans are reading less and less poetry, we hope that our year-long "Celebration of Stanley Plumly and Poetry at the University of Maryland" will showcase the importance of poetry at the University, and engage students and faculty across the campus, as well as readers throughout the state, with the wonder and beauty of the poetic art of Stanley Plumly, and, more generally, with the wonder and beauty of the poetic genre.

Keynotes: David Baker, Poetry Editor of the Kenyon Review; David Wyatt, University of Maryland

Schedule

All events in Ulrich Recital Hall, Tawes Hall, unless otherwise noted

October 29, 2009

3:00PM: Welcome and introductions: Robert Levine (Director, Center for Literary and Comparative Studies), Kent Cartwright (Chair, Department of English), James Harris (Dean, College of Arts and Humanities

3:15PM: Keynote lecture: David Baker (Denison University and Poetry Editor of the Kenyon Review): "Melancholy Host: Mr. Plumly's Paradox." Introduction by Michael Collier (University of Maryland)

4:15PM: Poetry reading in honor of Stanley Plumly: Elizabeth Arnold, David Baker, Joelle Biele, David Biespiel, Michael Collier, Stuart Dischell, Linda Gregerson, Meghan O'Rourke, Paul Otremba, Patrick Phillips, Terese Svoboda, Chase Twichell, Joshua Weiner

5:30PM: Reception: Tawes Hall, 2nd floor, main lobby

October 30, 2009

8:30AM: Coffee at Tawes

9:00AM: Posthumous Keats: A Panel Discussion with Duncan Wu (Georgetown), Morris Dickstein (CUNY Graduate Center), Meghan O'Rourke (The Paris Review), Susan Wolfson (Princeton University). Chair: Martha Nell Smith (University of Maryland)

11:00AM: Poetic Influences on Stanley Plumly: Linda Gregerson (University of Michigan), Stuart Dischell (University of North Carolina, Greensboro), Chase Twichell (Keene, NY), Terese Svoboda (New York City). Chair: Joshua Weiner (University of Maryland)

12:30PM: Lunch

2:00PM: Stanley Plumly’s Influence As a Teacher: Patrick Phillips (Drew University), James Hoch (Ramapo College), Joelle Bielle (Ellicott City, MD), Paul Otremba (University of Houston), David Biespiel (Wake Forest University). Chair: Elizabeth Arnold (University of Maryland)

3:30PM: Keynote lecture: David Wyatt (University of Maryland): “Walking with Stanley.” Introduction by Charles Caramello (Dean of the Graduate School).

4:30PM: Reading by Stanley Plumly

5:30PM: Reception: Tawes Hall, 2nd Floor, Main Lobby

Participants

Elizabeth Arnold’s third collection, Effacement, is forthcoming from Flood Editions in March. Her poems have appeared in Paris Review, Poetry, Slate, and Conjunctions. She has received a Whiting Writers Award and fellowships from the Radcliffe Institute at Harvard, the Rockefeller Foundation, and the Fine Arts Work Center. Arnold’s first book, The Reef, was a finalist for Boston Book Review’s Bingham Poetry Prize. While researching her Ph.D. dissertation on Mina Loy, she discovered Loy's novel, Insel, which she edited for Black Sparrow Press. Arnold is on the MFA faculty at the University of Maryland, and has also taught in Warren Wilson’s low residency MFA program. She lives outside Washington, D.C.

David Baker was born in 1954 in Bangor, Maine, and grew up in Missouri. He received his B.S.E. and M.A. degrees in English from Central Missouri State University, taught high school English from 1977-79, then took his Ph.D. in English from the University of Utah in 1983. Baker has taught at Kenyon College, the Ohio State University, and the University of Michigan, and currently holds the Thomas B. Fordham Chair of Creative Writing at Denison University. He also serves as Poetry Editor of The Kenyon Review, and teaches regularly in the MFA program for writers at Warren Wilson College. Among Baker's twelve books are Never-Ending Birds (poems, 2009), Radiant Lyre: Essays on Lyric Poetry (essays, 2007), Midwest Eclogue (poems, 2005), Treatise on Touch: Selected Poems (2007), Changeable Thunder (poems, 2001), and Heresy and the Ideal: On Contemporary Poetry (criticism, 2000). For his work Baker has been awarded fellowships and grants from the Guggenheim Foundation, National Endowment for the Arts, Poetry Society of America, Ohio Arts Council, Society of Midland Authors, and others. 

Joelle Biele is the author of White Summer, winner of the Crab Orchard Series in Poetry First Book Award. Her edition of Elizabeth Bishop's correspondence with The New Yorker will be published by Farrar, Straus, Giroux in Spring 2010. A Fulbright scholar, she has received awards from the Poetry Society of America and the Maryland State Arts Council. Her poems and essays appear in American Poetry Review, Antioch Review, Gettysburg Review, Iowa Review, and Prairie Schooner. She has taught American literature and creative writing at Goucher College, the University of Maryland, the University of Oldenburg, Germany, and Jagiellonian University, Poland.

David Biespiel is the author of The Book of Men and Women, Wild Civility, Pilgrims & Beggars, and Shattering Air. He is a contributor to Poetry, Slate, The New Republic, and The New York Times; has written a monthly column on poetry for The Oregonian since 2003; has been editor of Poetry Northwest since 2005; and is a daily contributor on politics and public policy to The Politico since 2008. He divides teaching time among the Pacific Lutheran University M.F.A. Program in Tacoma, Washington, Oregon State University, and as poet in residence at Wake Forest University in North Carolina. He is the founding director of the Attic Writers' Workshop in Portland, Oregon, where he has lived since 1995.

Morris Dickstein is Distinguished Professor of English at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. He is a widely published reviewer and critic, perhaps best known for his book on the 1960s, Gates of Eden (1977, 1997), which was nominated for the National Book Critics Circle Award in criticism. His most recent books are Leopards in the Temple: The Transformation of American Fiction, 1945-1970 (2002), A Mirror in the Roadway: Literature and the Real World (2005), and Dancing in the Dark: A Cultural History of the Great Depression (2009). He has served on the board of the New York Council for the Humanities and the National Book Critics Circle and as president of the Association of Literary Scholars and Critics.

Stuart Dischell is the author of Good Hope Road, a 1991 National Poetry Series Selection (Viking, 1993), Evenings & Avenues (Penguin, 1996), Dig Safe (Penguin, 2003), and Backwards Days (Penguin, 2007). Dischell's poems have been widely published in journals such as the Atlantic, The New Republic, Ploughshares, Slate, The Kenyon Review, and in anthologies including Hammer and Blaze, The Pushcart Prize, and Garrison Keillor's Good Poems. A recipient of awards from the National Endowment for the Arts, the North Carolina Arts Council, and the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation, he is a professor in the Master of Fine Arts Program in Creative Writing at UNC Greensboro and in the Sarah Lawrence Summer Literary Seminars.

Linda Gregerson is the author of four collections of poetry, including Fire in the Conservatory (Dragon Gate 1982), The Woman Who Died in Her Sleep (Houghton Mifflin 1996), and Waterborne (Houghton Mifflin 2002). Her most recent volume, Magnetic North (Houghton Mifflin 2007), was a finalist for the National Book Award. Gregerson is also the author of two volumes of criticism: The Reformation of the Subject: Spenser, Milton, and the English Protestant Epic (Cambridge University Press 1995), and Negative Capability: Contemporary American Poetry (University of Michigan Press 2001). Gregerson has received awards from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the Poetry Society of America, and the Modern Poetry Association, and grants and fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Rockefeller Foundation, the Mellon Foundation, and others. She has served on the faculties of the Bread Loaf Writers Conference, The Kenyon Review Writers Conference, and the Warren Wilson MFA Program for Writers. Gregerson is the Caroline Walker Bynum Distinguished University Professor of English Language and Literature at the University of Michigan.

Prior to teaching, James Hoch was dishwasher, cook, dockworker, social worker and shepherd. His poems have appeared in Washington Post, Slate, Kenyon Review, 32 Poems, Virginia Quarterly Review, and many others. His book, A Parade of Hands, won the Gerald Cable Award and was published in March 2003 by Silverfish Review Press. His latest book is Miscreants (W.W. Norton, 2007). He has received fellowships from the NEA, Bread Loaf and Sewanee writers' conferences, St. Albans School for Boys, and Summer Literary Seminars. Additionally, he was selected the 2008 Resident Poet at The Frost Place. He is Associate Professor at Ramapo College and the 2008 MF Steinhardt Visiting Writer in the MFA Program at Rutgers Newark. He resides with his wife and sons in Nyack, NY.

Robert Levine is Professor of English and Distinguished Scholar-Teacher at the University of Maryland, and Director of the Center for Literary and Comparative Studies. He is the author of Conspiracy and Romance (1989), Martin Delany, Frederick Douglass, and the Politics of Representative Identity (1997), and Dislocating Race and Nation (2008), and the editor of a number of volumes, including The Norton Anthology of American Literature, 1820-1865 (2007).

Paul Otremba's first book of pomes, The Currency, has just been published by Four Way Books. His poems and criticism have also appeared in Kenyon Review, Lyric, New England Review, Tikkun, Virginia Quarterly Review, and American Poets in the 21st Century: The New Poetics. He has won scholarships to the Bread Loaf Writers' Conference, a Barthelme Memorial Fellowship, and an Academy of American Poets prize. He is a PhD candidate at the University of Houston. 

Patrick Phillips' first book, Chattahoochee, received the 2005 Kate Tufts Discovery Award, and his second collection, Boy, was published by the University of Georgia Press in 2008.  His poems have appeared in many magazines, including Poetry, Ploughshares, and American Poetry Review, and he has been a fellow of the National Endowment for the Arts, the U.S. Fulbright Commission, and the Bread Loaf Writers' Conference.  He lives in Brooklyn and teaches writing and literature at Drew University.

Martha Nell Smith is Professor of English and Founding Director of the Maryland Institute for Technology in the Humanities at the University of Maryland. Her numerous print publications include five books, three of them award-winning -- Emily Dickinson, A User's Guide (December 2009); Companion to Emily Dickinson (2008), coedited with Mary Loeffelholz; Open Me Carefully: Emily Dickinson's Intimate Letters to Susan Dickinson (1998), coauthored with Ellen Louise Hart; Comic Power in Emily Dickinson (1993), coauthored with Cristanne Miller and Suzanne Juhasz; Rowing in Eden: Rereading Emily Dickinson (1992) -- and more than 40 articles and essays in leading scholarly journals. Smith is the recipient of numerous awards from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the American Council of Learned Socieites, the Mellon Foundation, and the Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education for her work on Dickinson, American literary history, and in new media.

The many faces of Terese Svoboda's luminous writing include eleven books of poetry, fiction, translation and over 100 short stories. Weapons Grade, just published, contains poems "as haunting as they are funny, as pleasurable as they are powerful," according to Publishers Weekly. Her memoir Black Glasses Like Clark Kent was termed "Astounding!" by the New York Post and selected as a Japan Times "Best of Asia 2008" book and won the Graywolf Nonfiction Prize. Praised as a "fabulous fabulist" by Publishers Weekly for her last novel, Tin God, Vogue lauded her first, Cannibal, as a female Heart of Darkness. Svoboda is also the recipient of the Bobst Prize, the Iowa Prize for poetry and the O. Henry Award for the short story. Her work has been selected for the "Writer's Choice" column in the New York Times Book Review, a SPIN magazine book of the year, and one of the Voice Literary Supplement's ten best reads. Her opera WET premiered at L.A.'s Disney Hall in 2005. She has taught at Sarah Lawrence, The New School, Bennington, Davidson, University of Hawaii, University of Miami, Fairleigh Dickinson, Williams, San Francisco State, and William and Mary.

Chase Twichell is the author of six books of poetry, most recently Dog Language (Copper Canyon, 2005). Horses Where the Answers Should Have Been: New & Selected Poems is forthcoming from the same press in 2010. Her work has received many honors, including grants from the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Artists Foundation. She has been the recipient of the Alice Fay Dicastagnola Award from the Poetry Society of America and a Literature Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. From 1999-2009, she was the editor of Ausable Press, an independent publisher of poetry. She lives in the Adirondacks of upstate New York with her husband, the novelist Russell Banks.

Joshua Weiner is the author of The World's Room and From the Book of Giants (Chicago). He is the recipient of a Whiting Writers' Award and the Rome Prize from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. His poems and essays have appeared in Best American Poetry, The New York Review of Books, The Nation, The American Scholar, Village Voice, Chicago Tribune, Threepenny Review, Poetry, Washington Post, Slate, and elsewhere. He is associate professor at the University of Maryland and serves as poetry editor of Tikkun. He lives with his family in Washington, D.C.  

Susan Wolfson is Professor of English at Princeton University, President of the Association of Literary Scholars and Critics, and General Editor of the Longman Cultural Editions. Her latest critical adventure, Romantic Interactions: Social Being and the Turns of Literary Action is forthcoming in 2010, as is a chapter on Keats for the Cambridge Companion to British Poets. She is also developing an Introduction to John Keats for Cambridge, scheduled for 2011. Chapters on Keats are central to her published studies: The Questioning Presence: Wordsworth, Keats, and the Interrogative Modes of Romantic Poetry (1986); Formal Charges: The Shaping of Poetry in British Romanticism (1997); and Borderlines: The Shiftings of Gender in British Romanticism (2006). She edited and contributed to The Cambridge Companion to John Keats (2001), and with Peter Manning, edited The Romantics and their Contemporaries for The Longman Anthology of British Literature (1998-2010). Her many innovative editions for students, teachers, and scholars include John Keats: A Longman Cultural Edition (2007).

Duncan Wu is Professor of English at Georgetown University. He is the editor of Romanticism: An Anthology, now in its third edition, and the author of William Hazlitt: The First Modern Man, published by Oxford University Press in 2008. He is also a seasoned journalist, writing regularly for The Daily Telegraph and The Times Higher Education Supplement. He is on the editorial boards of the The Charles Lamb Bulletin, The Wordsworth Circle, and Romanticism on the Net, and is one of the co-editors of the scholarly journal Notes and Queries, published by Oxford University Press.

David Wyatt teaches English at the University of Maryland, where he has been named a Distinguished Scholar-Teacher. He received his B.A. from Yale in 1970 and his Ph.D. from Berkeley in 1975. He taught at the University of Virginia and Princeton before coming to Maryland in 1987. Wyatt was born in Lynwood, California in 1948. His two books about California, The Fall into Eden and Five Fires, explore the rich literary and cultural heritage of his native state. Prodigal Sons, his first book, is an essay in career criticism. Out of the Sixties and The Turning, his book-in-progress, deal with the imaginative productions and political fate of the Vietnam generation. Secret History, published in 2009, attempts a comprehensive survey of twentieth-century American literature. Wyatt, and his wife Ann Porotti, divide their time between Charlottesville and Cape Cod. His 2004 memoir, And the War Came, fills in the details.