15th U.S. Poet Laureate Charles Simic Reads at NYU, Oct. 16

Charles Simic, the 15th U.S. Poet Laureate (2007-08) and newly appointed Lillian Vernon Distinguished Writer-in-Residence at the New York University Creative Writing Program, will read from his work on Thursday, October 16, at 7 p.m. The poetry reading will be accompanied by a discussion between Simic and NYU Creative Writing Program director Deborah Landau; a reception and book signing will follow. The event, held at NYU’s Lillian Vernon Creative Writers House, 58 W. 10th Street, is free and open to the public. For further information, call 212.998.8816 or visit www.cwp.fas.nyu.edu.

Simic’s most recent poetry books include That Little Something: Poems (2008), My Noiseless Entourage (2005), and The Voice at 3:00 A.M. (2003). Of That Little Something, Library Journal wrote: “Among living, secular poets, Pulitzer Prize winner Simic has fashioned a career addressing the unfashionable subject of evil … A soulmate of Kafka and an anthropologist of the unknowable, Simic writes poems that read like field notes on ‘the unreality of us being here.’”

Booklist remarked of his craft, “Simic’s concise, silvery, and sardonic poems sketch grim vignettes in a world of absences… Simic, a pivotal voice of our bloody times, draws on dark fairy tales, Shakespeare, and pulp fiction as his poems rise from the page like the smoke of the last cigarettes of the damned.”

A native of Yugoslavia, Simic moved with his mother to Paris when he was 15, where he studied English. A year later, they joined his father in New York. A U.S. citizen for 37 years and an alumnus of NYU, Simic has written 18 collections of poetry in English as well as 13 books of translations from Eastern European works and numerous essays and reviews. He is the recipient of many awards including a MacArthur Fellowship, the Wallace Stevens Award, and two PEN awards for his work as a translator. His recent critical work includes a review of Philip Roth’s new novel, Indignation, featured in the October 9, 2008 issue of New York Review of Books.

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