NBCC’s Brooklyn Book Festival Bookends Event: Is the Poet the New Public Intellectual?

By Admin

Today’s Poet-Critics on Criticism and Critique

September 14 201, 6:30 p.m.
Poets House
10 River Terrace, New York, NY 

National Book Critics Circle poetry chair Tess Taylor invites some of today’s leading poet critics—Stephanie Burt, Daisy Fried,  Greg Pardlo, and Craig Teicher—to talk about how the terrain of criticism is changing;  what poets add to the literature of critique; and to what ends we write criticism now. How is the criticism poets write different than other criticism? What is the relationship between the forms of poetry and the forms of critical intervention? Where do poets understand the borders of these genres?   How do critical and poetic projects feed, chase, devour or fuel each other?   We will discuss what poet-critics offer the world that academic critics might not. In particular we will ask: is the critic an activist? Is the poet the new public intellectual?


 Stephanie Burt is Professor of English at Harvard and the author of several books of poetry and literary criticism, most recently The Poem Is You: Sixty Contemporary American Poems and How to Read Them (Harvard University Press, 2016) and Advice from the LIghts: Poems (Graywolf, 2017). Her writings on poetry, comic books, and other topics appear semi-regularly in the London Review of Books, the New York Times Book Review, Rain Taxi, the Yale Review, and other venues in the UK, US and New Zealand.


Daisy Fried is the author of three books of poetry: Women’s Poetry: Poems and Advice, named by Library Journal as one of the five best poetry books of 2013, My Brother is Getting Arrested Again, a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award, and She Didn’t Mean to Do It, which won the Agnes Lynch Starrett Prize. Her poems have appeared recently in Best American Poetry, London Review of Books, The Nation, New Republic, Poetry, American Poetry Review, Threepenny Review and elsewhere. She has been awarded Guggenheim, Hodder and Pew Fellowships, a Pushcart Prize, the Cohen Award from Ploughshares, and the Editors Prize for a feature article from Poetry, for “Sing, God-Awful Muse,” about reading Paradise Lost, breastfeeding and the importance of difficulty. She is a member of the board of the National Book Critics Circle, poetry editor for the literary/political resistance journal Scoundrel Time, and occasionally reviews poetry for the New York Times, Poetry and the Threepenny Review. Formerly the Grace Hazard Conkling Writer-in-Residence at Smith College, Fried is a member of the faculty of the Warren Wilson College MFA Program for Writers, teaches at Villanova University, and lives in Philadelphia.

Gregory Pardlo's collection Digest (Four Way Books) won the 2015 Pulitzer Prize for Poetry. His other honors include fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts and the New York Foundation for the Arts; his first collection Totem was selected by Brenda Hillman for the APR/Honickman Prize in 2007. He is Poetry Editor of Virginia Quarterly Review. Air Traffic, a memoir in essays, was released by Knopf in April.


Tess Taylor’s first book, The Forage House, was called “stunning” by The San Francisco Chronicle. Her second book, Work & Days, was called “our moment’s Georgic” by critic Stephanie Burt and was named one of the 10 best books of poetry of 2016 by The New York Times. Taylor’s poetry and nonfiction appear widely. She currently chairs the poetry committee of the National Book Critics Circle, and is on-air poetry reviewer for NPR’s All Things Considered. She was a Distinguished Fulbright US Scholar at the Seamus Heaney Centre in Queen’s University in Belfast, Northern Ireland, and was most recently Anne Spencer Writer in Residence at Randolph College.

Craig Morgan Teicher's latest poetry collection, The Trembling Answers, won the 2018 Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize from the Academy of American Poets.  His first collection of essays, We Begin In Gladness: How Poets Progress, will be published by Graywolf in November.