Notice of Online Archive

  • This page is no longer being updated and remains online for informational and historical purposes only. The information is accurate as of the last page update.

    For questions about page contents, contact the Communications Division.

Pulitzer Prize-winning American poet W.D. Snodgrass will give a poetry reading 8 p.m. Thursday, October 14 at Lafayette College’s Williams Center for the Arts. The reading, sponsored by the department of English and the department of religion, is free and open to the public.

Snodgrass’ appearance will the first of two visits to Lafayette by Pulitzer-winning poets this fall. On Oct. 25 and 26 James Tate will be on campus as the 1999 Closs Visiting Writer-in-Residence. He will give a public reading on Oct. 25 and will interact with scores of Lafayette students in classes, informal sessions, and individual appointments. He is the author of 13 books of poetry, including Selected Poems (1991), which won the Pulitzer Prize and the Poetry Society of America’s William Carlos Williams Award.

“W.D. Snodgrass is a remarkable poet whose influence — particularly his innovations in regard to confessionalism — has been greatly significant,” says Lafayette English professor Lee Upton, an accomplished poet and critic who is the first Lafayette faculty member to hold the title writer-in-residence.

“At Lafayette, he’ll read exclusively from his collection The Fuehrer Bunker, a series of imagined monologues by Adolf Hitler and those who surrounded him in the days before his suicide,” Upton says. “The book is a powerfully imagined and profound attempt to explore evil.”

Born in Wilkinsburg, Pa., in 1926, Snodgrass has published more than 20 books of poetry. They include The Fuehrer Bunker: The Complete Cycle (1995); Each in His Season (1993); Selected Poems, 1957-1987; The F├╝hrer Bunker: A Cycle of Poems in Progress (1977), which was nominated for the National Book Critics Circle Award for Poetry and produced for The American Place Theatre; After Experience (1968); and Heart’s Needle (1959), which won the 1960 Pulitzer Prize for poetry.

Snodgrass also has produced a book of literary criticism, In Radical Pursuit (1975), and six volumes of translation, including Selected Translations (1998), which won the Academy of American Poets’ Harold Morton Landon Translation Award this year. Other honors include an Ingram-Merrill Foundation award and a special citation from the Poetry Society of America, as well as fellowships from the Academy of American Poets, the Ford Foundation, the Guggenheim Foundation, the National Institute of Arts and Letters, and the National Endowment for the Arts.

Snodgrass and Tate will bring to three the number of Pulitzer-winning poets at Lafayette this year. As part of the College’s celebration of National Poetry Month in April, Yusef Komunyakaa read his work and served as judge of the annual MacKnight Black Poetry Contest for Lafayette seniors. Komunyakaa is the author of 10 books of poetry, including Neon Vernacular: New and Selected Poems (1993), which won the Pulitzer and the Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award, given by Claremont Graduate University.

Categorized in: News and Features