The Chicago Poetry Project is hosting a weekend of events to celebrate the publication of Roy Fisher’s Selected Poems, edited by August Kleinzahler. Born in 1930, Fisher is a British poet of remarkable range; his restless and exploratory poetry has long been admired in the United Kingdom, and by a select few readers in the United States. This new volume, and these events, will introduce him to a wider audience.
Friday, April 15 at 7 pm: A Reading by August Kleinzahler Maureen McLane, and Tom Pickard (at The New Corpse Space, 1511 N. Milwaukee, 2nd Floor, Chicago).
Saturday, April 16 at 1:30 pm: Talks on Fisher’s poetry by August Kleinzahler, Maureen McLane, and Tom Pickard; as well as a screening of Tom Pickard’s film “Birmingham’s What I Think With” (1991), a documentary on Fisher (at Morningstar, 22 W. Washington, 7th Floor, Chicago).
The symposium is free and open to the public but REGISTRATION IS REQUIRED FOR THIS EVENT. Simply send an e-mail to john.tipton64 [at] gmail.com with your first and last name so we can put you on the access list, and bring photo ID to the event. This is a building security requirement.
August Kleinzahler was born in Jersey City, New Jersey, in 1949, and raised in Fort Lee, New Jersey. For six years, he commuted everyday, from New Jersey to New York, to attend the Horace Mann School in the Bronx. After high school, he attended the University of Wisconsin as an East Asian Studies major. He dropped out of Wisconsin, and finished his studies at the University of Victoria in British Columbia where he majored in English and studied with Basil Bunting, whom he considered a great hero. Kleinzahler is the author of ten books of poetry, including: The Strange Hours Travelers Keep (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2004), winner of the International Griffin Poetry Prize; Live from the Hong Kong Nile Club : Poems: 1975-1990 (2000); Green Sees Things in Waves (1999); and Red Sauce, Whiskey and Snow (1995). He is also the author of one prose book, the meditative memoir Cutty, One Rock: Low Characters and Strange Places, Gently Explained (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2004).
Maureen N. McLane was educated at Harvard, Oxford, and the University of Chicago, from which she received her PhD in 1997. She is the author of Balladeering, Minstrelsy, and the Making of British Romantic Poetry (Cambridge UP, 2008) and Romanticism and the Human Sciences (CUP, 2000, 2006). She also co-edited The Cambridge Companion to British Romantic Poetry (2008). Her research and teaching focus on British literature and culture, 1750-30, and more broadly on the intersection of poetry, “literature,” and modernity: special areas of interest include romanticism, modernism, balladry (British and American), mediality, 20th- and 21st-century poetries in English, the human sciences, historiography, and the case of Scotland. A poet and critic, she is the author of Same Life: poems (FSG, 2008) and World Enough: poems (FSG, forthcoming June 2010). A contributing editor at Boston Review, her articles on poetry, fiction, teaching, and sexuality have appeared widely, in (e.g.) The New York Times, The Chicago Tribune, Boston Review, The Washington Post, American Poet, and on the Poetry Foundation website. In 2003 she won the National Book Critics Circle’s Balakian Award for Excellence in Book Reviewing; she served on the Board of Directors of the NBCC, 2007-2010. Before coming to NYU, she taught at Harvard, the University of Chicago, MIT, and the East Harlem Poetry Project. She thinks print is not dead, nor poetry, nor the human—though regarding what the latter two might be, she remains agnostic.
Tom Pickard’s first book of poems, High on The Walls, was published in 1968 by Fulcrum Press and his latest, Ballad of Jamie Allan, by Flood Editions in 2008. It was a finalist in the National Book Critics Circle awards. In 1970 City Lights published Guttersnipe and in 2011 Pressed Wafer published More Pricks Than Prizes, both part-memoirs. He also documented northern working-class culture/history in books, on radio and in TV documentaries. He has worked with musicians, including John Harle for whom her wrote the libretto, Ballad of Jamie Allan, and more recently the words for Harle’s City Solstice—a piece for saxophone and the Kings College Cambridge Choir. Currently collaborating with the singer songwriter, Ben Murray, on his interpretation of Ballad of Jamie Allan with song, field recordings, and poems from the book. Pickard has been banned from the North Sea, the Newcastle Festival, and HM Prisons, amongst other places. He now lives in the North Pennine Hills near the Border with Scotland and makes recordings of winds on Fiends Fell while walking and watching cloud shadows on distant hills.