Press release: Summer 2009
Leading American poet, Charles Simic, delivers the Poetry Society’s Annual Lecture

“For me a poem is a place where one invites someone in. Inside you’ve got... a painting on the wall, a new couch, some knick-knacks and souvenirs, a swell meal all laid out on the table, and you open the door and you hope somebody comes in...”

As speculation mounts about the identity of the new British Poet Laureate, there’s an opportunity to discover the insights of America’s most recent Laureate, Charles Simic. Drawing on his experiences in that role, Simic will deliver a playful and provocative lecture about the shifts in today’s international poetic landscape. Revealing some of the immeasurably bizarre poetic activity he discovered online, he will make some startling conclusions about the current state of poetry. Making a rare visit to London, Simic delivers the Poetry Society’s Annual Lecture, The State of the Art, at the Bishopsgate Institute on Thursday 5 February 2009.

Born in 1938 in Belgrade, and brought up under Nazi occupation before emigrating to the United States in his teens, Simic has a highly surreal vision of the world. His unsettling work shines flashes of irreverent humour into some of life’s darkest corners. His first collection was published in 1971, and in the three decades that have followed he has received numerous awards and honours for his work, including the Pulitzer Prize and the PEN International Award for translation. Since 1973, Simic has taught English at the University of New Hampshire. He was America’s Poet Laureate (‘Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress’) from 2007-08.

This event will be introduced by Anne-Marie Fyfe, Chair of The Poetry Society.

The Annual Lecture will be at Bishopsgate Institute on Thursday 5 February at 7pm.

-ENDS-

Notes to Editors

  • The Poetry Society’s Annual Lecture, Thursday 5 February at 7pm. Venue: Bishopsgate Institute, 230 Bishopsgate, London, EC2M 4QH. Tickets: £12 / £8 (concs and Poetry Society members). To book telephone 0207 392 9220 or email [email protected].uk (advance booking required).
  • The Poetry Society is celebrating its centenary (1909-2009). To find out more visit www.poetry society.org.uk


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