Visions & Voices: Cartography of Poets: Maps, Archives, and Locating the Poetic

September 17, 2020

The USC Libraries are home to archives of California poets who have influenced literary art around the globe. Some have taken inspiration from California’s geology and geography, some from its diversity of communities, and others from the regional interplay of formal poetic structures and experimental techniques. All embody aspects of California-ness that are present in the archives.

Join online California poets David St. JohnDana Gioia, and Gail Wronsky for an evening of intrepid explorations of historical and contemporary California poets and poetry, followed by a conversation about how history and place—literal and figurative—shape the poetic experience.

David St. John
 has been honored with many prizes over his career, including both The Rome Fellowship and The Award in LIterature from The American Academy of Arts and Letters; the O.B. Hardison Prize from The Folger Shakespeare Library; and the George Drury Smith Lifetime Acheivement Award. He is the author of twelve collections of poetry, most recently, The Last Troubadour: New and Selected Poems; as well as a volume of essays, interviews, and reviews entitled Where the Angels Come Toward Us.  A chancellor of the Academy of American Poets and a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, St. John is university professor and chair of English at USC.

Dana Gioia was the Poet Laureate of California from 2015–2018. An internationally recognized poet and critic, he is the author of five collections of verse, including Interrogations at Noon (2001), which won the American Book Award, and 99 Poems: New & Selected (2016, which won the Poet’s Prize). His critical collections include Can Poetry Matter? (1992), which was a finalist for the National Book Critics Award. He has also written three opera libretti and edited twenty literary anthologies. Gioia served as Chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts from 2003 to 2009.

Gail Wronsky is the author, coauthor, and translator of twelve books of poetry and prose, including the poetry collections Imperfect Pastorals (2017); Poems for Infidels (2005); and Dying for Beauty (2000, a finalist for the Western Arts Federation Poetry Prize). Under the Capsized Boat We Fly, her new and selected poems, will be published in 2021. She has an MFA from the University of Virginia, a PhD from the University of Utah, and is the Daum Professor at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles. 

Related Event:
Cartography of Poets Workshop
Thursday, September 17, 2020, at 7 p.m.
For more info, click here.

Presented by USC Visions and Voices: The Arts and Humanities Initiative. Organized by the USC Libraries in partnership with the USC School of Dramatic Arts and the Sidney Harman Academy for Polymathic Study.