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Marilyn Hacker: Paris

Thursday 11 Apr 2019, 19:00 to 20:00

Shakespeare and Company
37 rue de la Bucherie


Marilyn Hacker brings together material from eight books for this reading, including a generous excerpt from the erotic verse novel Love, Death and the Changing of the Seasons, and new work written in a vertiginously changing political world. Hacker writes narrative poems, lyrics and elegies; she is witty, angry, traditional, experimental. Her poetry is in open dialogue with its sources, which include Donne, Akhmatova, Muriel Rukeyser, Joseph Roth, and the Algerian Kateb Yacine. In the past decade, this exchange has been informed by Hacker's celebrated translations of contemporary French poets, and a selection of this work is included alongside her own poems. Her poetry has been celebrated for its keen observation of her two cities, New York and Paris, its fusion of precise form and demotic language, its music, its memory, and its stubborn delectation of life.

Marilyn Hacker was born in New York City in 1942. She is the author of several books including Essays on Departure (Carcanet, 2006) and the following books of poetry, First Cities: Collected Early Poems 1960-1979 (2003); Squares and Courtyards (2000); Winter Numbers (1994), which won the Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize and a Lambda Literary Award; Selected Poems 1965-1990 (1994), which received the Poets' Prize; Love, Death, and the Changing of the Seasons (1986); Assumptions (1985); Taking Notice (1980); Going Back to the River (1990), for which she received a Lambda Literary Award; Separations (1976); and Presentation Piece (1974), which was the Lamont Poetry Selection of The Academy of American Poets and a National Book Award winner. She also translated Venus Khoury-Ghata's poetry, notably the award-winning Alphabets of Sand (Carcanet, 2009) and also published in She Says (2003) and Here There Was Once a Country (2001). 

Hacker was editor of The Kenyon Review from 1990 to 1994, and has received numerous honours, including the American PEN Voelcker Award, 2010 (for a mid-career poet), the American PEN Award for Poetry in Translation (2009) for Marie Etienne's King of a Hundred Horsemen, the American Academy of Arts and Letters Award in Literature (2004), the Poets' Prize 1996 for Selected Poems, and the Lenore Marshall Award of the Academy of American Poets (1995) for Winter Numbers. She lives in Paris.

Her forthcoming collection Blazons will be released in March 2019. 

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