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Charles Simic | 2009 Featured Poet

Read Charles Simic's Poetry | Our Interview with Charles Simic

Poet will be on campus for Workshop/Poetry Reading on Wednesday, April 01, 2009.


Charles Simic, the fifteenth Poet Laureate of the United States, will be featured at Oklahoma City University on April 1, 2009. Born in 1938 in Yugoslavia, Simic immigrated to the United States in 1953. He served in the army for two years in the early 1960s, and in 1967 obtained his B.A. from New York University. He is the author of over 60 books including Walking the Black Cat, A Wedding in Hell and Hotel Insomnia. His book of prose poems The World Doesn't End was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in 1990. In addition to being anthologized many times, his work has appeared in The New Yorker, Poetry, and The Best American Poetry; he is the co-poetry editor of The Paris Review. His publications also include books of prose, edited collections, and translations of poets. The latter involve from translations of French, Serbian, Croatian and Macedonian and Slovenian poetry and he has twice won the Pen International Translation Award.

He has received a MacArthur Foundation "genius” grant, and is the 2007 recipient of the Wallace Stevens Award from the Academy of American Poets. In addition, he has received Guggenheim and National Endowment for the Arts Fellowships. Today, he is Professor Emeritus of Creative Writing at the University of New Hampshire. One of our most prolific poets, Simic fills his poems with distinctive, accessible and enjoyable images and similes. Within the lines of a short poem, he can move from the whimsical or the earthy to the transcendent. Simic’s poems are full of abrupt moments, mistaken identities and roads not taken—a sense of other selves one might have been. Of influences on him, Simic refers to jazz musicians, surrealism, and modern painters.

Simic will read some of his poema, talk about his writing process, and respond to questions at a 10:00 AM session on April 1. He will read his poetry at an 8:00 PM session. Both will be in the Kerr McGee Auditorium of the Meinders School of Business, at NW 27th Street and McKinley. Both sessions are free and open to the public for those who arrive first. Full Circle Bookstore will be at the events selling Simic’s books, and he will sign books after both sessions. An Open-Mic Poetry Reading will be held in the atrium of the Meinders Building from 6:15 PM to 7:30 PM.

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