Paul Mariani reading

Paul Mariani reading

Tuesday, June 7, 7:00 pm until 9:00 pm
34 Main Street, Montague, MA

Montague’s own Paul Mariani reads from his new poetry collection All That Will Be New, published this month by Slant Books.

Mariani will be introduced by Martín Espada, a long-time friend, poet and translator, professor of English at UMass-Amherst, and recent winner of the National Book Award.

"In the poem that opens this, his ninth collection, one of our most celebrated men of letters contemplates the “primordial tensions” felt in the crashing waves of a Northeaster, the glory and terror of the storm as “the real comes crashing finally down on you.” Contemplating as we all must the unrelenting passing of time and the harsh realities of history, Paul Mariani embodies the filmmaker Akira Kurosawa’s dictum that “the artist is the one who does not look away.” And yet, even in the face of pandemics, wars, and the open wound of racism, the poet continues his search for those artists, activists, writers, and saints who can guide us through the wilderness and help us preserve the hope that all things can be made new. Whether he is contemplating painters from Caravaggio to Van Gogh in deft ekphrastic poems, evoking the courageous witness of Harriet Tubman and Malcolm X, or visiting with the poets, living and dead, who have been his masters, Paul Mariani’s lyrical voice rings true. In the end, after the arduous journey that has taken him so far, the poet joins a simple supper, where the real shines forth in the breaking of bread." (Slant Books)

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Paul Mariani is the author of nine poetry collections: All That Will Be New: Poems Republic of Letters (2022), Ordinary Time: Poems Slant Press (2019), Epitaphs for the Journey (Cascade Books, 2012), Deaths & Transfigurations (Paraclete Press, 2005), The Great Wheel (W. W. Norton, 1996), Salvage Operations: New & Selected Poems (1990), Prime Mover (1985), Crossing Cocytus (1982), and Timing Devices (1979).

He has published numerous books of prose, including The Mystery of It All: The Vocation of Poetry in the Twilight of Modernity. Paraclete Press (2019);Thirty Days: On Retreat with the Exercises of St. Ignatius (Viking, 2002), and God and the Imagination: On Poets, Poetry, and the Ineffable (University of Georgia Press, 2002). Other books include A Useable Past: Essays, 1973-1983 (1984), William Carlos Williams: The Poet and His Critics (1975), and A Commentary on the Complete Poems of Gerard Manley Hopkins (1970), as well as five biographies: The Whole Harmonium: The Life of Wallace Stevens. 2016. Simon & Schuster; The Broken Tower: A Life of Hart Crane (1999); Lost Puritan: A Life of Robert Lowell (1994), both named New York Times Notable Books of the year; Dream Song: The Life of John Berryman (1990); and William Carlos Williams: A New World Naked (1981), which won the New Jersey Writers Award, was short-listed for an American Book Award, and was also named a New York Times Notable Book of the year. His latest biography, Gerard Manley Hopkins: A Life (Viking) appeared in 2008.

His honors include fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the National Endowment for the Humanities. In 2009 he received the John Ciardi Award for Lifetime Achievement in Poetry. He was Distinguished University Professor at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, where he taught from 1968 until 2000, and currently holds a Chair in Poetry at Boston College. Mariani and his wife, Eileen, have three grown sons and live in western Massachusetts. (Academy of American Poets)

Martín Espada Martín Espada has published more than twenty books as a poet, editor, essayist and translator. His latest book of poems is called Floaters,
winner of the 2021 National Book. Other books of poems include Vivas to Those Who Have Failed (2016), The Trouble Ball (2011), The Republic of Poetry (2006) and Alabanza (2003). He is the editor of What Saves Us: Poems of Empathy and Outrage in the Age of Trump (2019). He has received the Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize, the Shelley Memorial Award, the
Robert Creeley Award, an Academy of American Poets Fellowship, the PEN/Revson Fellowship, a Letras Boricuas Fellowship and a Guggenheim Fellowship. His book of essays and poems, Zapata’s Disciple (1998), was banned in Tucson as part of the Mexican-American Studies Program outlawed by the state of Arizona. A former tenant lawyer in Greater Boston, Espada is a professor of English at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst. http://www.martinespada.net/

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