Bard College at Simon’s Rock 2009 Poetry and Fiction Series features four major writers this Fall: O. Henry Short Story Award winner, Daniel Menaker; Guggenheim, NEA and Mellon Foundation fellow, Lawrence Raab; Pulitzer Prize-winner and poetry editor at The New Yorker, Paul Muldoon; and Bard Fiction Prize winner, Emily Barton.
The series, which has taken place at Simon’s Rock for more than 20 years, brings two poets and two fiction writers to campus every fall. Literature and languages faculty Peter Filkins organizes the series to augment the classroom experience and expose students to the work of accomplished writers. Students in Filkins' Guest Writers class study their works and develop questions in advance of each writer’s visit. During a "master class," guest writers discuss their craft and respond to student questions. Following an intimate class discussion, each writer offers a reading on campus that is free and open to the public.
The first guest writer, Daniel Menaker, read from his fiction on September 24, 2009. Mr. Menaker is the author of two volumes of short stories and a novel, a long-time writer for The New Yorker, and a former editor at Random House. He is a two-time winner of the O. Henry Short Story Award. His new book, A Good Talk, will be published in early 2010, and he is the producer and presenter of the online book program Titlepage.
On October 1, 2009, poet Lawrence Raab returned to read again for the series. Mr. Raab is the author of seven books of poetry, including the newly released The History of Forgetting. He is the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, a Robert Frost Fellowship from the Bread Loaf Writers' Conference, and grants from the NEA and the Mellon Foundation. His 1993 collection, What We Don't Know About Each Other, was a finalist for the National Book Award. He is the Morris Professor of Rhetoric at Williams College.
On October 22, 2009, Paul Muldoon, poetry editor at The New Yorker, will read from his work. Muldoon's ten collections of poetry include Madoc: A Mystery, Poems 1968-1998, Moy Sand and Gravel, and Horse Latitudes. He is also the recipient of numerous prizes and awards, including the Pulitzer Prize, the Griffin International Prize, the T. S. Eliot Prize, and the European Prize for Poetry. The Times Literary Supplement has described Muldoon as "the most significant English-language poet born since the second World War." He teaches at Princeton University, where he is the Chair of the Peter B. Lewis Center for the Arts.
The series concludes with widely acclaimed fiction writer, Emily Barton, on November 5, 2009. The author of two novels, including the recent Brookland, a New York Times Notable Book of the Year, Emily Barton reads from her fiction. Her first novel, The Testament of Yves Gundron won the Bard Fiction Prize, and her work has appeared in Story, American Short Fiction, and Conjunctions. She teaches writing and humanities at Bard College.
Award-winning authors who have read in the series include John Ashbery (Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award for Poetry), Louis Begley (PEN/Faulkner Award), Joseph Brodsky (Nobel Prize for Literature), Jay Cantor (MacArthur Fellow), Donald Hall (Pulitzer Prize and National Book Critics Circle Award for Poetry), Seamus Heaney (Nobel Prize for Literature), Norman Manea (MacArthur Fellow), James Merrill (Pulitzer Prize and Bollingen Prize for Poetry), E.Annie Proulx (Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award for Fiction), Philip Roth (National Book Award, National Book Critics Circle Award for Fiction, PEN/Faulkner Award), Charles Simic (Pulitzer Prize for Poetry), Susan Sontag (MacArthur Fellow and National Book Award), Derek Walcott (Nobel Prize Literature), John Edgar Wideman (MacArthur Fellow), Richard Wilbur (Pulitzer Prize and Bollingen Prize for Poetry), and Jay Wright (MacArthur Fellow).
Other new and established writers who have read at the College and met with students include Lucie Brock-Broido, Wesley Brown, alumna Veronica Chambers, Maxine Chernoff, Michelle Cliff, Anita Desai, Deborah Digges, Stephen Dunn, Annie Finch, Philip Gambone, Elizabeth Graver, Michael Harper, Amy Hempel, Paul Hoover, Robert Kelly, Bradford Morrow, Thylias Moss, Sabina Murray, Michael Palmer, Jay Parini, Caryl Phillips, Mary Jo Salter, Jim Shepard, Mona Simpson, Tom Sleigh, Le Thi Diem Thuy, Rosanna Warren, Nancy Willard, and David Yezzi.