Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Poet Lore's 119th Birthday, Nov. 16th 2:00 p.m.

Poet Lore, the nation’s oldest continuously published poetry journal, celebrates its 119th birthday with a special reading featuring renowned jazz critic/historian and poet A.B. Spellman and award-winning poet Gardner McFall.

Visit: www.poetlore.com

When: November 16, 2008. 2 p.m.
Where: The Writer’s Center, Bethesda, MD 20815
Poet Lore Website: www.poetlore.com
This event is FREE and open to the public. All who attend get a free issue of the most recent journal. Public contact: 301.654.8664 or postmaster@writer.org

Founded in 1989 by two iconoclastic women, Helen Clarke and Charlotte Porter, as a journal “devoted to Shakespeare, Browning, and the Comparative Study of Literature,” Poet Lore developed an early following among literary societies and later expanded it by offering unique features, such as its “Play Series”—which in 1913 was the first to print a complete, English-language edition of Anton Chekhov’s play The Seagull. And Walt Whitman, in the final year of his life, made a paid advertisement in Poet Lore for Leaves of Grass.

During the course of its illustrious history, Poet Lore has played an active role in introducing American readers to the likes of some of the finest international poets. In its early years, in fact, very few American authors were published in Poet Lore. For the majority of its content, Poet Lore set its sights abroad. Among the many authors who were discovered or whose careers on the international stage were advanced by Poet Lore include Henrik Ibsen, August Strindberg, Paul Bourget, Gerhart Hauptmann, and Maxim Gorky. And it was the first publication to introduce the work of Bengali poet Rabindranath Tagore—who would later win the Nobel Prize in literature—to readers of English. More recently, Poet Lore has been instrumental in publishing the work of emerging and established poets: Carl Phillips, Carolyn Forché, Sharon Olds, John Balaban, Alice Fulton, William Meredith, Sandra Gilbert, among many others.

Since the early 1980s, Poet Lore has been published by The Writer’s Center in Bethesda, MD. And each November, the Center plays host to a birthday celebration/issue launch. This year, Poet Lore editors E. Ethelbert Miller and Jody Bolz have invited two fine poets whose work will be featured.
About the Featured Poets:

A.B. Spellman is the author of The Beautiful Days and, recently, Things I Must Have Known. He is the former Deputy Chair for the National Endowment for the Arts. He is a nationally renowned jazz historian and critic and an alumni of Howard University, where he studied with the poet Sterling Brown.

Gardner McFall is the acclaimed author of The Pilot’s Daughter. She is the recipient of the Thomas McAfee Prize in Poetry and the Discover/The Nation award. Her work has been published widely including the Partisan Review, The Atlantic Monthly, and Tin House.

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