Robert Pinsky discusses his unlikely journey from "an unruly C-student" in gritty, late-1940s Long Branch to three-time U.S. Poet Laureate with distinguished fellow poet Bridget Shaughnessy.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Robert Pinsky is a poet, essayist, translator, teacher, and speaker. His first two terms as United States Poet Laureate were marked by such visible dynamism—and such national enthusiasm in response—that the Library of Congress appointed him to an unprecedented third term. Throughout his career, Pinsky has been dedicated to identifying and invigorating poetry’s place in the world. Known worldwide, Pinsky’s work has earned him the PEN/Voelcker Award, the William Carlos Williams Prize, the Lenore Marshall Prize, Italy’s Premio Capri, the Korean Manhae Award, and the Harold Washington Award from the City of Chicago, among other accolades. Pinsky is a professor of English and creative writing in the graduate writing program at Boston University.
ABOUT THE BOOK
"In late-1940s Long Branch, a historic but run-down Jersey Shore resort town, in a neighborhood of Italian, Black, and Jewish families, Robert Pinsky began his unlikely journey to becoming a poet. Descended from a bootlegger grandfather, an athletic father, and a rebellious tomboy mother, Pinsky was an unruly but articulate high school C student, whose obsession with the rhythms and melodies of speech inspired him to write.
Pinsky traces the roots of his poetry, with its wide and fearless range, back to the voices of his neighborhood, to music and a distinctly American tradition of improvisation, with influences including Mark Twain and Ray Charles, Marianne Moore and Mel Brooks, Emily Dickinson and Sid Caesar, Dante Alighieri and the Orthodox Jewish liturgy. He reflects on how writing poetry helped him make sense of life’s challenges, such as his mother’s traumatic brain injury, and on his notable public presence, including an unprecedented three terms as United States poet laureate."—W.W. Norton
"Truly the voice of the Jersey Shore."—Bruce Springsteen
ABOUT THE CONVERSATION PARTNER
Brenda Shaughnessy is the author of five poetry collections, including "Our Andromeda," which was a finalist for the PEN Open Book Award. Her work has appeared in Harpers, The New York Times, The New Yorker, O Magazine, The Paris Review, Poetry Magazine, and elsewhere. Recent collaborative projects include writing a libretto for a Mass commissioned by Trinity Church Wall Street for composer Paola Prestini, and a poem-essay for the exhibition catalog for Toba Khedoori’s solo retrospective show at LACMA. A 2013 Guggenheim Foundation Fellow, she is an associate professor of English and creative writing at Rutgers University-Newark.
AGE GROUP: | Adults |
EVENT TYPE: | Open Book/Open Mind |
TAGS: | poetry | New Jersey | books |
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