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Epic Voices

This fall, as we close out Poets House’s 30th Anniversary, we travel across time and around the world, exploring different aspects of the epic form. Please join us!

  • Emily Wilson, classicist and first female translator of The Odyssey into English, discusses the challenges of making this ancient work feel alive now (Sept. 20). This program is made possible in part through a partnership with the Battery Park City Authority. 
  • Renowned translator and scholar of Surrealist writing Mary Ann Caws presents long poems by feminist Modernist Mina Loy and Dada founder Tristan Tzara (Sept. 27).
  • Acclaimed poet and classicist Anne Carson explores the concept of stillness in writing and art from Sappho to Jenny Holzer (Oct. 6). This program is made possible in part through a partnership with the Battery Park City Authority.
  • Award-winning poet Sherwin Bitsui explores the use of select Navajo traditions in contemporary Diné poetry and  presents his own recent book (Oct. 16).
  • Cuban poet and musician Omar Pérez gives a talk and performance on “oceanic” form, taking up this trope via Afro-Cuban drumming (Oct. 20).
  • Poet and translator Forrest Gander discusses C. D. Wright’s book-length poem One with Others, a documentation of the civil rights struggle in small town Arkansas (Oct. 23).
  • National Poetry Series winner Jos Charles discusses Chaucer’s “House of Fame,” a three-book poem that allegorizes the creation of celebrity status (Oct. 25).
  • On the eve of Halloween, Langdon Hammer and Stephen Yenser consider James Merrill’s long poem The Book of Ephraim, which he composed using a Ouija board (Oct. 30).
  • Musician and poet MacGillivray presents a dynamic talk and performance on the mythologies of American and Scottish history (Nov. 1).
  • Poet Michael Leong examines how writers of contemporary long poems—such as Theresa Hak Kyung Cha, M. NourbeSe Philip, and Robin Coste Lewis—draw on history and documentation to access cultural memories (Dec. 1).
  • Polish writer Jacek Dehnel joins American translator Bill Johnston to discuss the epic in Polish literature, from the 19th century to the present day. Co-sponsored by the Polish Cultural Institute & Archipelago Books (Dec. 6).
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