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SUE ELLEN THOMPSON LECTURE “THE MAN WHO LOVED WOMEN: JACK GILBERT AND HIS POEMS”

June 12 @ 5:00 pm - 6:00 pm

Sue Ellen Thompson is the author of six books of poetry, most recently Sea Nettles: New and selected poems. Her work has been included in the Best American Poetry series, read on National Public Radio more than a dozen times by Garrison Keillor, and has won a number of prizes, including the Samuel French Morse Prize, a Pushcart Prize, and the Robert Frost Fellowship at The Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference. A resident of Mystic and Stonington for more than 30 years, she taught at Wesleyan University, Middlebury College, Binghamton University, and Central Connecticut State University before moving to the Eastern Shore of Maryland in 2006. She currently teaches poetry workshops at The Writer’s Center in Bethesda and mentors adult poets who are putting together their first books. In 2010, she received the Maryland Author Prize from the Maryland Library Association.

When the poet Jack Gilbert (1925-2012) won the Yale Prize and published his first book in 1962, he became an overnight celebrity. He was photographed for Vogue and Glamor magazines, and women began stopping him on the street to ask for his autograph. His book was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize, huge crowds showed up for his readings, and he won a Guggenheim Fellowship. Then, at the age of 37, he disappeared.

Gilbert spent the next decade of his life on a Greek island with the poet Linda Gregg. He lived simply, never held a real job, and devoted all of his energies to writing poems that were deeply felt but strangely “out of tune” with what his contemporaries back in the U.S. were producing. After returning briefly to the U.S. in the early 1970s, he left the country again, this time moving to Japan with the woman who would become his wife and whose early death would provoke some of his most moving work.

As he approached 60, Gilbert returned to the U.S. and published three more books, eventually winning the National Book Critics’ Circle Award and the admiration of the poetry establishment. His Collected Poems, which appeared following his death at the age of 87, established him as a major voice in American poetry. The lecture will explore how his relationships with women influenced Gilbert’s work and will include a close examination of several of his poems.

Details

Date:
June 12
Time:
5:00 pm - 6:00 pm
Event Categories:
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Organizer

Karla Umland
Phone:
860-535-0658
Email:
karla@stoningtonfreelibrary.org

Venue

Stonington Free Library
1084 Shennecossett Rd
Groton, CT 06340 United States
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Phone:
860-535-0658
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