Sept. 2, 2009                   

AMHERST, Mass.—Poet Richard Wilbur, member of Amherst College’s Class of 1942, will read from his work at 8 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 17, in Pruyne Lecture Hall of Amherst College’s Fayerweather Hall. Sponsored by the Amherst College Creative Writing Center, the event is open to the public at no charge.

In a review of Wilbur’s 600-page Collected Poems 1943-2004, The New York Times wrote, “The emergence of a poet like Wilbur as a hero to a new generation of critics is cause for hope: that readers, not gatekeepers, might rediscover poems written in the spirit of generosity and care, and disciplined by the idea of an uncaptive audience.” Or, as Slate put it, “Wilbur’s poems matter not because they may or may not be stylish at any given moment but because they keep the English language alive: Wilbur’s great poems feel as fresh—as astonishing, as perplexing, as shocking—as they did 50 years ago.” 

The former U.S. poet laureate’s vivid array of honors includes the National Book Award and two Pulitzer Prizes—as well as a 1942 B.A. from Amherst. He has recently returned as a John Woodruff Simpson Lecturer to co-teach a poetry workshop.

Every year, the Amherst College Creative Writing Center sponsors a reading series featuring both emerging and established authors. All events are wheelchair accessible and followed by refreshments. For more information, please call 413/542-8200.