October 28, 2003
Director of Media Relations
AMHERST, Mass.- In his new book, Light Disguise ($14, 63 pp., Copper Beech Press, Providence, R.I., 2003), David Sofield, the Samuel Williston Professor of English at Amherst College, offers 30 new poems that "question and re-question their sense of something seen or perhaps of something heard," according to poet Richard Wilbur. Sofield will read from Light Disguise at the Alumni House at Amherst College on Monday, Nov. 17 at 8 p.m., as part of the Creative Writing Center's series of readings.
Light Disguise offers lyrics that explore the dailyness of living, informed by a intelligence that Mary Jo Salter, poet and professor of English at Mount Holyoke College, calls "elegant, erudite, [and] deeply felt." Daniel Hall, poet and writer-in-residence at Amherst says Light Disguise is "as lean and satisfying a book as I've read in years."
Sofield works comfortably in such traditional forms as the villanelle and sonnet, in couplets and sestets, but also writes long sequences in strict blank verse. As novelist and poet Brad Leithauser, lecturer in humanities at Mount Holyoke College, says, "Unlike so much formal poetry on the scene today, Sofield's work manifests a craftsmanship whose end is not mere deference to tradition or the simple urge to flaunt erudition or expertise; the poems' formal designs are in service to subject matter."
Sofield's poems have appeared in Poetry, The New Yorker, The Yale Review, The New Criterion, Southwest Review and The New Republic. He co-edited Under Criticism (with Herbert F. Tucker, 1998), a collection of critical essays, to which he contributed "Richard Wilbur's 'Lying'."
Sofield has taught English and creative writing at Amherst since 1965. He received a B.A. from Princeton University and M.A. and Ph.D. degrees from Stanford.