Contact: Yvonne French (202) 707-9191

September 28, 1998

Witter Bynner Fellows Carol Muske and Carl Phillips To Read Their Poems at the Library of Congress

Witter Bynner Fellows Carol Muske and Carl Phillips will read from their work at the Library of Congress at 6:45 p.m. October 16 in the Montpelier Room on the sixth floor of the James Madison Memorial Building, 101 Independence Ave. S.E.

The reading is free, and neither tickets nor reservations are required.

The Witter Bynner Fellowships are funded by the Witter Bynner Foundation and given under the auspieces of the Library of Congress to support the writing of poetry. The fellows are chosen by the incumbent Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry, and are asked to organize a local poetry reading in their communities, which they did last spring, and participate in a poetry reading at the Library of Congress, which is the October 16 event.

Ms. Muske and Mr. Phillips last year became the first poets to receive the first Witter Bynner Fellowships to be conferred by the Library of Congress's Poetry and Literature Center.

Ms. Muske is a poet, novelist, critic and professor at the University of Southern California. She is the author of six collections of poetry, including An Octave Above Thunder (1997), Red Trousseau (1993), Applause (1989) and Camouflage (1975); and two novels, Saving St. Germ (1989) and Dear Digby (1993). She is the recipient of awards and grants from the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Ingram- Merrill Foundation, and the Poetry Society of America.

Carl Phillips's most recent collection of poetry is From the Devotions (1998). He is also the author of In the Blood, which won the Morse Poetry Prize, and Cortege, a finalist for both the National Book Critics Circle Award and the Lambda Literary Award. The recipient of fellowships and prizes from the Guggenheim Foundation, the Massachusetts Artists Foundation and the Academy of American Poets, Mr. Phillips is associate professor of English and of African and Afro-American Studies at Washington University, St. Louis, where he also directs the creative writing program.

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. The current Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry, Robert Pinsky, is the award-winning translator of The Inferno of Dante and a creative writing professor at Boston University. He 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 98-162
ISSN 0731-3527

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