POUGHKEEPSIE, NY — Pulitzer Prize-winning poet and Vassar alumna Mary Oliver will read from her widely published works at the college's eighth annual Elizabeth Bishop Poetry Reading at on Thursday, October 6, at 6:00 p.m. in the Villard Room of the College Center. One of America's most celebrated poets, and particularly respected for her focus on both the beautiful and grotesque aspects of the environment. Oliver won the Pulitzer Prize for her 1983 volume American Primitive and the 1992 National Book award for her New and Selected Poems. Her lecture is free and open to the public.
Among her more than ten books of poetry and prose, Oliver's poems House of Light (1990) won both the Christopher Award and the L.L. Winship / PEN New England Award. Oliver's honors also include the American Academy of Arts and Letters Award, the Lannan Literary Award, and the Shelley Memorial Prize from the Poetry Society of America. The retired professor of literature at Bennington College has also been a fellow of the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Guggenheim Foundation, and her book-length poem "The Leaf and the Cloud" was included in two successive volumes of the anthology The Best American Poetry.
Oliver's published works also include Why I Wake Early (2004), Long Life: Essays and Other Writings (2004), Owls and Other Fantasies: Poems and Essays (2003), Winter Hours: Prose, Prose Poems and Poems (1999), Rules for the Dance: A Handbook for Reading and Writing Metrical Verse (1998), West Wind (1997), Blue Pastures (1995), White Pine (1994), and A Poetry Handbook (1994).
The Elizabeth Bishop Poetry Series at Vassar College, named for Mary Oliver's fellow Pulitzer-winning poet (1956) and Vassar alumna, is sponsored by the department of English and funded through the gift of Priscilla H. Rockwell '47 and H.P. Davis Rockwell, with additional support from the college's Helen Forster Novy '28 Fund for Visiting Scholars. For more information contact Jean Kane, assistant professor of English, at (845) 437-5945.
Individuals with disabilities requiring accommodations should contact the Office of Campus Activities at (845) 437-5370. Vassar College is a highly selective, coeducational, independent, residential liberal arts college founded in 1861.