Three celebrated poets will share insights into their artistic process with the Nashville community during Vanderbilt University’s next Saturday University classes in January and March 2013. Saturday University is designed to fill the niche between the single lecture and a full degree program. A lecture series held on Saturday mornings, this is a non-degree program for those in the community who want to sharpen their own engagement in lifelong learning.
Saturday University has been a success from its inception, allowing the university to showcase Vanderbilt faculty, research centers and programs. Whether it has been their De-Coding the 2012 Election sessions, the Immigration lecture series with Professors Donato, Gerstle, Barsky and Pierre or the fall 2011 sessions with Billy Collins, Saturday University has been a vital activity for Nashville’s lifelong learners.
Thomas Lux will kick off the “Rhyme and Reason” series Jan. 12. A session with Stephen Dobyns follows March 16, then Garrett Hongo March 23. Thomas Lux holds the Margaret T. and Henry C. Bourne, Jr. Chair in Poetry at the Georgia Institute of Technology and runs Georgia Tech’s “Poetry at Tech” program. Among his many books of poetry: God Particles: Poems (2008); The Cradle Place(2004); The Street of Clocks (2001); New and Selected Poems, 1975-1995 (1997), which was a finalist for the 1998 Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize; The Blind Swimmer: Selected Early Poems, 1970-1975 (1996); Split Horizon (1994), for which he received the Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award. Lux has been the poet in residence at Emerson College (1972-1975) and a member of the Writing Faculty at Sarah Lawrence College and the Warren Wilson MFA Program for Writers. He received three National Endowment for the Arts grants and a Guggenheim Fellowship.
Stephen Dobyns has published ten books of poetry and twenty novels. His books of poetry include Winter’s Journey (2010); Mystery, So Long (2005); The Porcupine’s Kisses (2002); Do They Have a Reason? (2000); Pallbearers Envying the One Who Rides (Penguin, 1999); Common Carnage (1996); Velocities: New and Selected Poems, 1966-1992(1994); Cemetery Nights (1987), which won a Melville Cane Award; Black Dog, Red Dog (1984), which was a winner in the National Poetry Series; Heat Death (1980); and Concurring Beasts (1972), which was the 1972 Lamont Poetry Selection of The Academy of American Poets. He is also the author of Best Words, Best Order: Essays on Poetry (1996, 2003) and Next Word, Better Word: The Craft of Poetry (2011).
Garrett Hongo is currently Distinguished Professor of the College of Arts & Sciences and a Professor of Creative Writing at the University of Oregon in Eugene. His collections of poetry include Coral Road: Poems (2011); The River of Heaven (1988), which was the Lamont Poetry Selection of The Academy of American Poets and a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize; and Yellow Light (1982). He is also the author of Volcano: A Memoir of Hawaii(1995), and he has edited Songs My Mother Taught Me: Stories, Plays and Memoir by Wakako Yamauchi (1994) and The Open Boat: Poems from Asian America (1993).
“Thomas Lux, Garrett Hongo and Stephen Dobyns are all master artists who are coming to Nashville to work with Vanderbilt students, and now – like Billy Collins before them – also the Nashville community at large,” said Martin Rapisarda, associate dean in the College of Arts and Science. “This is a tremendous opportunity for the literary community of this city.”
All the classes run 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. and will be held in Room 114 of Furman Hall on the Vanderbilt University campus. The cost for all three sessions of Saturday University is $75.