Poets Vijay Seshadri, Rosanna Warren, and Major Jackson reflect on how poetry has guided and given them voice during times
of great social turmoil and uncertainty. Public discussion following.
Poet, essayist, and critic Vijay Seshadri was born in India and came to the United States at the age of five. He earned a BA from Oberlin College and an MFA from Columbia University. Seshadri is the author of The Long Meadow (2003), which won the James Laughlin Award; and 3 Sections (2013), which won the Pulitzer Prize in Poetry. He has received fellowships from the New York Foundation for the Arts, the NEA, and the Guggenheim Foundation. He has worked as an editor at the New Yorker and has taught at Bennington College and Sarah Lawrence College, where he currently directs the graduate non-fiction writing program.
Rosanna Warren was born in Fairfield, Connecticut to a pair of writers: Robert Penn Warren, a poet and novelist, and Eleanor Clark, a prize-winning author. Warren is the Hanna Holborn Gray Distinguished Service Professor in the Committee on Social Thought at the University of Chicago. Her book of criticism, Fables of the Self: Studies in Lyric Poetry, came out in 2008. Her most recent books of poems are Departure (2003) and Ghost in a Red Hat (2011). She is the recipient of awards from the Academy of American Poets, the American Academy of Arts & Letters, the Guggenheim Foundation, and the New England Poetry Club. She was a chancellor of the Academy of American Poets from 1999 to 2005, and is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the American Philosophical Society.
Major Jackson is the author of four collections of poetry, including Roll Deep (Norton: 2015), which won the 2016 Vermont Book Award and was hailed in the New York Times Book Review as “a remixed odyssey.” His other volumes include Holding Company (Norton: 2010), Hoops (Norton: 2006), and Leaving Saturn (University of Georgia: 2002), which won the Cave Canem Poetry Prize and was a finalist for a National Book Critics Circle Award. Jackson has published poems, essays, and book reviews in American Poetry Review, Callaloo, The New Yorker, The Paris Review, Ploughshares, Poetry, Tin House, New York Times Book Review, and in several volumes of Best American Poetry. He is the recipient of a Whiting Writers’ Award, a Guggenheim Fellowship, a Pushcart Prize, Pew Fellowships in the Arts, the National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship, among other honors. Jackson has taught as visiting faculty at Adelphia University, New York University, Columbia University, University of Massachusetts-Lowell as the Jack Kerouac Writer in Residence and the Sidney Harman Writer in-Residence at Baruch College. He is the Richard A. Dennis Green & Gold Professor at the University of Vermont. He serves as the Poetry Editor of The Harvard Review.
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