Prize-winning Poet Will Read at
Los Angeles, California -- May 10, 1999 - On Tuesday, May 25, California State University, Los Angeles will present a reading by Linda Pastan--one of the most distinguished and influential poets writing in America today--at the University's 14th Annual Jean Burden Poetry Reading. The reading is free to the public and will begin 7 p.m. in the Los Angeles Room of the University-Student Union. A reception and booksigning will follow the reading.
Poet Laureate of Maryland from 1991 to 1995, Pastan has won the Dylan Thomas Award, the Swallow Press New Poetry Series Award, a National Endowment for the Arts grant, the Bess Hokin prize of Poetry magazine, and the DiCastagnola Award (Poetry Society of America) among numerous laurels.
Of her 1998 National Book Award finalist collection, Carnival Evening: New and Selected Poems 1968-1998, poet Liz Rozenberg, writing in the Boston Globe, comments: "The effect of reading this collection reminded me of only a few other modern poets: Robert Frost, in his virtuosity and beauty, and the great Russian poet Anna Akhmatova, in her passion and straightforward honesty."
Thomas R. Smith of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune praised Pastan, calling her a "master of a compressed, near minimal style that helped define the American lyrical poetry in the 1970s... one of our more influential living poets." In Pastan's poetry, wrote one reviewer, "there is a return to the role of a poet as it served the human race for centuries: to fuel our thinking, show us our world in new ways, and to get us to feel more intensely."
Pastan's 13 books include Aspects of Eve, The Five Stages of Grief, PM/AM: New and Selected Poems, and A Fraction of Darkness.
A New Yorker, Pastan attended Radcliffe College and Brandeis University. She was on the staff of the Bread Loaf Writer's Conference for 20 years and has taught at the American University. When he presented Pastan with the Maurice English Award, juror poet William Stafford said, "She is a cultural philanthropist. We are lucky to have her work and her presence in our lives."
The annual poetry readings were established at Cal State L.A. in 1986 to honor Jean Burden for her influence as a poet, essayist, anthologist, teacher and editor, and for her long-standing support of poetry on the Cal State L.A. campus. In addition to poetry, Burden has published a book of essays, Journey Toward Poetry, and articles and books on topics ranging from animal welfare to Oriental religion. Burden has also been the poetry editor of Yankee magazine for more than 40 years.
This increasingly popular event features an annual reading by a major or emerging American poet. Noted poets, Pulitzer Prize winners and U.S. Poets Laureate have been guest readers since the inception of this series at Cal State L.A., including Maxine Kumin, Mary Oliver, Tess Gallagher, Lucille Clifton, Carolyn Kizer, Howard Nemerov, Richard Wilbur, and Mark Strand.
The University is located at the Eastern Avenue exit, San Bernardino Freeway, at the interchange of the 10 and 710 Freeways. Public (permit dispensers) parking is available on the top level of Parking Structure II, at the north end of campus. Cost is $.50 per hour for parking. For more information on the poetry reading, call (323) 343-4001.
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