As a teenager, Robert Pinsky played the saxophone and dreamt of becoming a jazz musician. As an award-winning poet, he has emphasized the relationship between poetry and jazz. Pinsky’s reading will be a collaboration with Earshot Jazz Festival and will feature local musicians Marc Seales on piano and Paul Gabrielson on bass.
TICKET BUYERS AND SUBSCRIBERS WHO PURCHASE PATRON LEVEL SEATS ARE INVITED TO A SPECIAL RECEPTION WITH ROBERT PINSKY PRIOR TO THE EVENT FROM 6:00-7:00PM
“In American culture,“ Pinsky says, “poetry and jazz are kind of advance scouts, making discoveries and innovations that are incorporated into other forms, sometimes softened or diluted a little. Poetry is the most vocal and musical verbal art, short of actual song.”
Pinsky’s poems appear in magazines such as The New Yorker, The Atlantic Monthly, The Threepenny Review, American Poetry Review, and frequently in The Best American Poetryanthologies. His poems have earned praise for their wild musical energy, vitality, and ambitious range. The Boston Globe wrote of Pinsky that “no living poet has greater reach of imagination.” His volumeThe Figured Wheel: New and Collected Poems 1966-1996 was a Pulitzer Prize nominee. Pinsky’s Tanner Lectures at Princeton University were published as Democracy, Culture and the Voice of Poetry. He has written six books of verse, most recently Gulf Music: Poems, as well as prose on the subject of poetry, including Poetry and the World and The Sounds of Poetry. Pinsky is also a translator, perhaps best known for The Inferno of Dante: A New Verse Translation.
Robert Pinsky served an unprecedented three terms as United States Poet Laureate, the public ambassador for poetry. He founded the Favorite Poem Project, in which thousands of Americans of all ages shared poems that were significant for them. The project documented the presence of poetry in the American cultural landscape. Of the project, Pinsky says “The Favorite Poem Project demonstrates that there is more circulation of poetry and more life of poetry than there might seem with the stereotype, the readings are very moving.”
Pinsky appears regularly on PBS’s The PBS NewsHour. He writes the weekly “Poet’s Choice” column for The Washington Post and is the poetry editor for Slate. In 1999 he was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Letters and is one of the few members to have appeared on “The Simpsons.” Pinsky is the winner of the PEN/Voelcker Award, the William Carlos Williams Prize, the Lenore Marshall Prize, and the 2008 Theodore M. Roethke Memorial Poetry Award, among many others. He lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts, with his wife Ellen and teaches in the graduate writing program at Boston University.
Selected WorkPoetryThe Figured Wheel: New and Collected Poems, 1966-1996 (1997)Gulf Music: Poems (2008)Jersey Rain: Poems (2001)Americans’ Favorite Poems: The Favorite Poem Project Anthology (editor, with Favorite Poem Project (U. S.) and Maggie Dietz, 1999)The Sounds of Poetry: A Brief Guide (1999)The Figured Wheel: New and Collected Poems, 1966-1996 (1997)The Inferno of Dante: A New Verse Translation (translator, with Michael Mazur, 1996)
ProseThe Life of David (2005)Poetry and the World (1988)The Situation of Poetry (1978)
LinksInterview (Every Writer’s Resource, September 2008)http://www.everywritersresource.com/pinsky.html
Interview (The Cortland Review, March 1998)http://www.cortlandreview.com/pinsky.htm Favorite Poem Project, founded by Robert Pinsky as U.S. Poet Laureatehttp://www.favoritepoem.org/ Biography with full bibliography (Poetry Foundation)http://www.poetryfoundation.org/archive/poet.html?id=5406 Essential Pleasures: Robert Pinsky’s column on Poems Out Loud (April 2009)http://poemsoutloud.net/poets/poet/robert_pinsky/ Robert Pinsky on Jazz (The Boston Globe, March 2010)http://www.boston.com/ae/music/articles/2010/03/05/robert_pinsky_improvises_at_jazz_festival/Literary\Arts Series, Literary legend John Updike discusses his work with fellow writer David Guterson and Seattle Art Museum Curator of American Art Patricia Junker. Photo by Libby Lewis