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Pulitzer Prize-winning poet to recount his struggles with dyslexia in annual Hirsch Disability Awareness Lecture, November 3, 2014

Despite experiencing severe childhood learning struggles and a late-in-life dyslexia diagnosis, Philip Schultz eventually went on to win a Pulitzer Prize for his poetry.

Schultz will read from his poetry and his acclaimed memoir, My Dyslexia, and then take questions from the audience during the 13th annual Steven ’71 and Susan Hirsch Disability Awareness Lecture. His talk, “From Dyslexia to Pulitzer: The Narrative Gift,” will be held on Monday, November 3, 5:30pm, in the Villard Room of Main Building. This event is free and open to the public.

Although he achieved success as a writer, Schultz could never shake the feeling of being exiled to what he calls “dummy class” in school, where he was largely ignored by his teachers and peers and not expected to succeed. Years later, when his oldest son was diagnosed with the same learning issues, Schultz realized that he was dyslexic. In My Dyslexia Schultz recounts his difficulties with the debilitating language disability and his struggles to overcome it.

Schultz was the recipient of the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry in 2008 for the collection Failure. He is the founder and director of The Writers Studio, a private school for fiction and poetry writing based in New York City. He is the author of several collections of poetry, including The Wherewithal: A Novel in Verse (2014), The God of Loneliness: New and Selected Poems (2010), Living in the Past (2004), and The Holy Worm of Praise (2002). He is also the author of Deep Within the Ravine (1984), recipient of the Academy of American Poets Lamont Prize; Like Wings (1978), winner of an American Academy & Institute of Arts and Letters Award and a National Book Award Finalist.

Schultz’s work has been published in The New Yorker, Partisan Review, The New Republic, The Paris Review, Slate, and other magazines. He was the recipient of a Fulbright Fellowship and a 2005 Guggenheim Fellowship in poetry.

About the Steven Hirsch ’71 and Susan Hirsch Disability Awareness Lecture
The Steven Hirsch ’71 and Susan Hirsch Fund for Students with Disabilities is committed to student learning and faculty teaching development that helps Vassar more effectively meet the needs of students with diverse learning needs, particularly the needs of students with learning disabilities. Past speakers in the Hirsch lecture series have included Sam Chaltain, Patricia Quinn, Ned Hallowell, Rick Lavoie, Robert Brooks, Jonathan Mooney, LeDerick Horne, Martha Manning, and Thom Hartmann, on such issues as dyslexia, attention deficit disorder, and clinical depression. The Hirsch fund also supports the Vassar chapter of Eye to Eye, a national organization that partners with local communities, schools, and universities to bring young adults with learning disabilities into the lives of children with learning disabilities and Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder to build self-esteem, empower learning, and nurture hope.

Vassar College strives to make its events, performances, and facilities accessible to all. Individuals with disabilities requiring special accommodations must contact the Office of Campus Activities at least 48 hours in advance of an event, Mondays-Fridays, at (845) 437-5370. Without sufficient notice, appropriate space/and or assistance may not be available. For detailed information about accessibility to specific campus facilities, search for “campus accessibility information” on the Vassar homepage (http://www.vassar.edu).

Directions to the Vassar campus, located at 124 Raymond Avenue in Poughkeepsie, NY, are available at www.vassar.edu/directions.

Vassar College is a highly selective, coeducational, independent, residential liberal arts college founded in 1861.

accommodations must contact the Office of Campus Activities at least 48 hours in advance of an event, Mondays-Fridays, at (845) 437-5370. Without sufficient notice, appropriate space/and or assistance may not be available. For detailed information about accessibility to specific campus facilities, search for “campus accessibility information” on the Vassar homepage (http://www.vassar.edu).

Directions to the Vassar campus, located at 124 Raymond Avenue in Poughkeepsie, NY, are available at www.vassar.edu/directions.

Vassar College is a highly selective, coeducational, independent, residential liberal arts college founded in 1861.

Posted by Office of Communications Thursday, October 2, 2014