Whittier College News Release

For Immediate Release - September 25, 1998
Media Contact: Shawn Fitzpatrick at (562) 907-4277
Reference: 98/99: 11


Robert Pinsky, the 39th U.S. Poet Laureate, will give a combined reading and lecture at the Ruth B. Shannon Center for the Performing Arts at Whittier College on Tuesday, September 29, at 8:00 p.m. This event is open to the public, and admission is $10.00.

Pinsky--a prize-winning poet, essayist and translator--took over the position of U.S. Poet Laureate in the fall of 1997, following his predecessor, Robert Hass. With five books of poetry including Sadness and Happiness (1975), An Explanation of America (1979), History of My Heart (1984), The Want Bone (1990) and his latest, The Figured Wheel: New and Collected Poems 1966-1996, as well as three works of critical prose, and an incredible English translation of Dante's Inferno, Pinsky has earned numerous awards including the Los Angeles Times' Book Prize, and has been nominated for a Pulitzer Prize.

Said to "run on megahertz energy and read with a dizzying eloquence" (L.A. Times), Pinsky currently teaches at Boston University, but lectures widely with his recent endeavor termed the "Favorite Poem Project." Pinsky's plan is to have the widest possible cross-section of Americans of varying ages, education, and ethnicities from every state reading their favorite poems aloud. These readings will create the first audio/video archive of poetry in The Library of Congress. Of the Favorite Poem Project, Pinsky says, "If anyone is around to ask in a thousand years, 'Who were the Americans?' one of the three of four things they'll mention, I hope, is they created poetry that influenced the world."

For ticket information, contact Whittier College's Ruth B. Shannon Center for the Performing Arts at (562) 907-4203.

Located 18 miles east of Los Angeles, Whittier College is an independent, four-year college offering traditional liberal arts majors and strong pre-professional programs taught in the context of the liberal arts. Whittier Law School, which is accredited by the American Bar Association and the Association of American Law Schools, is located on a separate campus in Costa Mesa.

Whittier College Office of Communications
13406 Philadelphia P.O. Box 634 Whittier, CA 90608-0634
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