The Poet’s Life: A Reading & Film Screening
Thursday, Nov. 9
4:30 p.m. reading & 5:30 p.m. film screening
Canzani Center Screening Room
Beeler Gallery presents an evening of poetry and film on the meaning of becoming a poet. Poet David St. John will open with a reading from his work, to be followed by a documentary, A Late Style of Fire, that reflects on the life of his close friend, the late Larry Levis. When Levis died in 1996, he left behind an oeuvre impressionable on predecessors, contemporaries, as well as younger poets. The documentary features the music of Sam Beam, of Iron & Wine, and will be followed by a Q&A with the filmmakers, Michele Polous and Gregory Donovan (also poets), as well as St. John.
About the Artists
David St. John
David St. John has been honored with many prizes for poets, including both the Rome Fellowship and the Award in Literature from the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters, the O. B. Hardison Prize (a career award for teaching and poetic achievement) from The Folger Shakespeare Library, and the George Drury Smith Lifetime Achievement Award from the Beyond Baroque Literary Arts Foundation. He is the author of 11 collections of poetry (including Study for the World’s Body, nominated for The National Book Award in Poetry), most recently the collection, The Last Troubadour: New and Selected Poems, as well as a volume of essays, interviews and reviews entitled Where the Angels Come Toward Us. He is the editor of two posthumous collections of poetry by Larry Levis: The Selected Levis and The Darkening Trapeze: Last Poems. He is also the co-editor of American Hybrid: A Norton Anthology of New Poetry. St. John has written libretti for the opera, THE FACE, and for the choral symphony, THE SHORE. A member of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences and a Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets, St. John is University Professor and Chair of English at The University of Southern California.
Michele Poulos is an award-winning screenwriter, award-winning poet, and filmmaker. She earned a BFA in film from Tisch School of the Arts at New York University, an MFA in creative writing (fiction) from Virginia Commonwealth University, and an MFA in creative writing (poetry) from Arizona State University. While at NYU, she worked as an intern for Albert Maysles at his production company Maysles Films. Her original screenplay, Mule Bone Blues (about Zora Neale Hurston and Langston Hughes [with consultations by Zora’s niece, Lucy Ann Hurston]), won the 2010 Virginia Screenwriting Competition and placed in the second round of the 2015 and 2017 Sundance Screenwriters Lab Competition and the second round of the 2010 Austin Screenplay Competition. Her first full-length poetry collection, Black Laurel, was published by Iris Press in 2016. Her poetry chapbook, A Disturbance in the Air, won the 2012 Slapering Hol Press Chapbook Competition. She recently completed co-writing a romantic comedy about a stand-up comic.
Gregory Donovan is the author of Torn from the Sun (Red Hen Press, April, 2015) and Calling His Children Home (University of Missouri Press), which won the Devins Award for Poetry. His poetry, essays, and fiction have appeared in The Kenyon Review, The Southern Review, New England Review, 42opus, diode, Crazyhorse, Hayden’s Ferry Review, Gulf Coast, Copper Nickel, and many other journals, as well as in a number of anthologies, including Common Wealth: Contemporary Poets of Virginia (University of Virginia Press). Among other awards for his writing, he is the recipient of the Robert Penn Warren Award from New England Writers, as well as grants from the Virginia Commission for the Arts and fellowships from the Ucross Foundation and the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts.Donovan is on the faculty of the graduate creative writing program of Virginia Commonwealth University, where he has often served as its Director of Creative Writing, and he is Senior Editor for Blackbird: an online journal of literature and the arts.
The event is part of the Beeler Gallery Visiting Artists & Scholars Series and is free and open to the public.