Contact: Yvonne French (202) 707-9191

September 28, 1998

Poets David Ferry and Thom Gunn To Read at the Library of Congress

Poets David Ferry and Thom Gunn will read from their work at the Library of Congress at 6:45 p.m. October 14 in the Montpelier Room, sixth floor, Madison Building, 101 Independence Ave. S.E.

The program is presented under the auspices of the Gertrude Clarke Whittall Poetry and Literature Fund. It is free, and neither tickets nor reservations are required.

David Ferry received his B.A. from Amherst College and his Ph.D. from Harvard University. He was a sergeant in the U.S. Army Air Force in World War II. He has taught in the English Department at Wellesley College for most of his career, where he is now Sophie Chantal Hart Professor of English. In 1996 he was Visiting Lecturer in the Creative Writing Program at Boston University and will be teaching there again this fall. The recipient of the Pushcart Prize (1988) and the Teasdale Prize for Poetry (1995), among others, he is the author of several collections of poetry, among them Dwelling Places: Poems and Translations (1993), and A Letter, and Some Photographs (1981). A new collection, New and Selected Poems and Translations, will appear soon. Mr. Ferry is also the author of many critical works and translations.

Thom Gunn was born in Gravesend, England, and attended Trinity College, Cambridge, where he earned his B.A. degree in 1953 and his M.A. degree in 1958. He attended Stanford University in 1954-55 and in 1956-58. Mr. Gunn has taught at the University of California, Berkeley, since 1958. Among his awards and honors are the Levinson Prize (1955), an American Institute of Arts and Letters grant (1964), and a Guggenheim Fellowship. His collections of poems include My Sad Captains (1961), Fighting Terms (1962), Moly (1971), The Man with Night Sweats (1992), and Collected Poems (1994).

The Poetry and Literature Center, which administers the poetry series, is also the home of the Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry, a position that has existed since 1936, when the late philanthropist Archer M. Huntington endowed the Chair of Poetry at the Library of Congress. Archibald MacLeish, who was Librarian from 1939 to 1944, determined the Consultant in Poetry should be an annual appointment. Since then, many of the nation's most eminent poets have served as Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress and, after the passage of Public Law 99-194 in 1985, as Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry.

Current Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry Robert Pinsky, the award-winning translator of The Inferno of Dante: A New Verse Translation and a creative writing professor at Boston University, suggests authors to read in the literary series, plans other special events during the literary season, and usually introduces the programs.

Interpreting services (American Sign Language, Contact Signing, Oral and/or Tactile) will be provided if requested five business days in advance of the event. Call (202) 707-6362 TTY and voice to make a specific request. For other ADA accommodations, contact the Disability Employment office at (202) 707-9948 TTY and (202) 707-7544 voice.

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PR 98-161
ISSN 0731-3527

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