Text and Community Program Highlights Poetry

Posted: January 7, 2000 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

By Sabrina Tillman

Each spring, the Text and Community Program conducts a semester-long project at George Mason University that seeks to foster exchanges across disciplines and interpretations of a text from multiple perspectives. This spring the focus is on poetry, using Louise Gluck’s Pulitzer Prize-winning poetry collection, The Wild Iris.

“The text The Wild Iris is a stunning lyric sequence [that] considers issues of self, of the spirit, of the nature of a creator spirit, of the sublime, of the natural world, and of human relationships, and thus presents a variety of pedagogical opportunities,” says Text and Community co-organizer Eric Pankey, English. “The work is contemporary and yet uses a mythic method that ties the present with the past.”

Gluck, who won the Pulitzer Prize in 1993 and the Poetry Society of America’s William Carlos Williams Award for The Wild Iris, reads from her numerous collections on Wednesday, April 5, at 6 p.m. in the Johnson Center Cinema. The author of eight books of poetry, including The Triumph of Achilles (1985), which received the National Book Critics Circle Award, the Boston Globe Literary Press Award, and the Melville Kane Award, and Ararat (1990), which received the Rebekah Johnson Bobbitt National Prize for Poetry, Gluck also is an accomplished nonfiction writer. Gluck’s book of essays titled Proofs and Theories: Essays on Poetry won the PEN/Martha Albrand Award for Nonfiction. Her other accomplishments include the Lannan Literary Award for Poetry, and fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and from the Guggenheim and Rockefeller foundations. Gluck is a senior lecturer at Williams College in Williamstown, Mass.

Pankey and poet Barbara Jordan lead a discussion on The Wild Iris at 6 p.m. in Enterprise Hall on Wednesday, March 22.

A poetry contest and an essay contest also are part of the Text and Community activities. The contest is open to both undergraduate and graduate students, and prizes include publication and monetary rewards. Students also will be given the opportunity to read their work. For more information about Text and Community activities, call Eric Pankey at x31177 or Zofia Burr, English, at x31088.

Write to at