Award-winning poet to visit Centre next week
October 7, 2010 By Leigh Ivey
writing Lisa Williams says that Greg Williamson's newest poetry
collection is filled with “nervy, jazzy, contemporary sonnets.”
On Tuesday, Oct. 12, poet and editor Greg Williamson will be on Centre College’s campus to visit with creative writing students and read selected poems from his collections.
“Williamson is one of the pre-eminent formalist poets in this country,” says Lisa Williams, Centre associate professor of English and director of creative writing. “He writes in traditional forms and meters—sonnets, iambic pentameter, and so on—and does so in innovative and exciting ways.
“Because he’s such an expert, as well as a superb practitioner, I thought it would be great for him to give a reading of his poetry for our students and to visit my “Poetic Forms: History and Creative Practice” class to talk about poetic forms, how he sees them and uses them and what advice he can offer them about doing so,” Williams adds.
Williamson, who grew up in Nashville and attended Vanderbilt University, the University of Wisconsin at Madison and Johns Hopkins University’s Writing Seminars, has won numerous awards for this poetry; they include an Academy Award in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the Whiting Writers Award and the Nathan Haskell Dole Prize.
The poet has also received a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts and a John Atherton Fellowship. His work has been included in Best American Poetry.
Several of Williamson’s collections of poetry have also received honors, including The Silent Partner (1995), winner of the Nicholas Roerich Poetry Prize, and Errors in the Script (2001), runner-up for the Poet’s Prize. His newest collection, A Most Marvelous Piece of Luck, was published in 2008.
“A Marvelous Piece of Luck is all sonnets—but nervy, jazzy, contemporary sonnets,” Williams says. “He shows us how much a poetic form that is hundreds of years old can still surprise and entertain.”
Williamson’s reading will take place on Tuesday, Oct. 12, at 7 p.m. in Vahlkamp Theater.