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Poets of the American West, 1910-2010

Wednesday Dec 1, 2010 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM This is a past program

Co-sponsored by Poetry Society of America and PEN Center USA

In honor of the Poetry Society of America’s 100th anniversary, celebrated Western poets read their own work as well as poems by their favorite poets of the region from the past century. Poets include Wanda Coleman, Robert Hass, Juan Felipe Herrera, Jane Hirshfield, Carol Muske-Dukes, and Michael Palmer.

About the Poets

Wanda Coleman is a poet, essayist, and fiction writer. Her books of poetry include Mercurochrome: New Poems (2001), Bath Water Wine (1998), and Imagoes (1983). Meurochrome: New Poems earned a nomination for the 2001 National Book Award and Bath Water Wine is the winner of the 1999 Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize. She has received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Guggenheim Foundation. 

Robert Hass is the author of numerous collections of poetry, including The Apple Trees at Olema (Ecco/HarperCollins 2010), Human Wishes (1989), and Field Guide (1973), which was selected by Stanley Kunitz for the Yale Younger Poets Series. His 2007 collection Time and Materials won the National Book Award. From 1995-1997, Hass served as the U.S. Poet Laureate, and he currently teaches at University of California, Berkeley. 

Juan Felipe Herrera is the author of Half of the World in Light: New and Selected Poems (2008), Border Crosser with a Lamborghini Dream (1999), and 187 Reasons Mexicanos Can’t Cross the Broder: Undocuments 1971-2007. He has won two Latino Hall of Fame Poetry Awards and received a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts. He has also written a number of short stories, young adult novels, and children’s literature, and is an activist on behalf of migrant and indigenous communities and at-risk youth. He is a professor at the University of California, Riverside. 

Jane Hirshfield is the author of After (HarperCollins, 2006), Given Sugar, Given Salt (2001), and Alaya (1982).Given Sugar, Given Salt was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. She has also received The Poetry Center Book Award, fellowships from the Guggenheim and Rockefeller Foundations, and was awarded the 70th Academy Fellowship from The Academy of American Poets. 

Carol Muske-Dukes is the author of several books, including Sparrow (Random House, 2003) – which was a National Book Award finalist – Octave Above Thunder (1997), and Skylight (1981). Her awards include the 1979 Alice Fay Di Castagnola Award from the Poetry Society of America and a National Endowment for the Arts Poetry Fellowship. She is the founding director of the PhD program in Creative Writing at Literature of University of Southern California. She is the state poet laureate. 

Michael Palmer is the author of books of poetry including Company of Moths (New Directions, 2005), Codes Appearing: Poems (2001), and Blake’s Newton (1972). Company of Moths was shortlisted for the Canadian Griffin Poetry Prize. He has been awarded two grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, a Guggenheim Foundation fellowship, and the Shelley Memorial Prize from the Poetry Society of America. From 1999-2004, he was a Chancellor of The Academy of American Poets.

Public programs are made possible, in part, by a major gift from Ann and Jerry Moss.

Additional support is provided by Bronya and Andrew Galef, Good Works Foundation and Laura Donnelley, an anonymous donor, the Hammer Programs Committee, and Susan and Leonard Nimoy.