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Poet and Scholar Willis Barnstone to Deliver Stahl Lecture October 4

Story posted September 27, 2005

Willis Barnstone's collection Life Watch garnered him his fourth Pulitzer Prize nomination in 2003, along with nominations for the National Book Award and the National Book Critic's Circle Award. It contains a poem about writing his first poem, in Hawthorne Hall while an undergraduate at Bowdoin College in the 1940s.

Acclaimed poet and scholar Willis Barnstone will give a reading and deliver the Jasper Jacob Stahl Lecture in the Humanities at 7:30 p.m., Tuesday, October 4, 2005, in Kresge Auditorium, Visual Arts Center, at Bowdoin College.

The reading is open to the public and admission is free, though tickets are required. Tickets are available at the David Saul Smith Union information desk. Call 207-725-3375.

Barnstone will be on campus the entire week of October 3 to meet with students and visit classes to read and lecture in smaller groups on a wide variety of subjects.

A native of Lewiston, Maine, Willis Barnstone was educated at Bowdoin College (Class of 1948, Honorary 1981), the Sorbonne, SOAS, Columbia and Yale. He taught in Greece at the end of the civil war (1949-51) and in Buenos Aires during the Dirty War. During the Cultural Revolution he went to China, where he was later a Fulbright Professor at Beijing Foreign Studies University (1984-1985). Former O'Connor Professor of Greek at Colgate University, he is Distinguished Professor of Comparative Literature at Indiana University. He divides his time between Bloomington, Indiana, and Oakland, California.

Barnstone's publications include Modern European Poetry (Bantam, 1967), The Other Bible (HarperCollins, 1984), Poetics of Translation: History, Theory, Practice (Yale, 1993), Funny Ways of Staying Alive (New England, 1993), The Secret Reader 501 Sonnets (New England, 1996), With Borges on an Ordinary Evening in Buenos Aires (Illinois, 1993), Algebra of Night: Selected Poems 1948-1998 (Sheep Meadow, 1999), The Apocalypse (New Directions, 2000), Life Watch (BOA, 2003), Border of a Dream: Poems of Antonio Machado (Copper Canyon, 2004), The Gnostic Bible (Shambhala, 2004), and We Jews and Blacks: Memoir with Poems (Indiana, 2004). His literary translation of The New Covenant: The Four Gospels and Apocalypse (Penguin Putnam, 2002) was an April Book of the Month selection.

A Guggenheim fellow, Barnstone has been the recipient of many awards over the years, including NEA, NEH, Emily Dickinson Award of the Poetry Society of America, W.H. Auden Award of the New York State Council on the Arts, the Midland Authors Award, Book of the Month selections in 1972, 1989, 2002, 2004, and Pulitzer Prize nominations in 1960, 1997, 1999, 2003. His work has appeared in magazines including APR, Doubletake, Harper's, The New York Review of Books, The Paris Review, Poetry, The New Yorker, and The Times Literary Supplement.

The Jasper Jacob Stahl Lectureship in the Humanities was established in 1970 by the bequest of Jasper Jacob Stahl '09, Litt.D. '60. The fund is used "to support a series of lectures to be delivered annually at the College by some distinguished scholarly and gifted interpreter of the Art, Life, Letters, Philosophy, or Culture, in the broadest sense, of the Ancient Hebraic World, or of the Ancient Greek World or of the Roman World, or of the Renaissance in Italy and Europe, or of the Age of Elizabeth I in England, or that of Louis XIV and the Enlightenment in France, or of the era of Goethe in Germany."

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