W.S. Merwin | NCSU Campus: Stewart Theatre | Page: Literary Related | Indy Week
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W.S. Merwin 

When: Mon., Oct. 17, 7:30 p.m. 2011
Price: Free

Over a 60-year publishing career, outgoing U.S. Poet Laureate W.S. Merwin has collected more prizes than it's interesting to list. What matters, of course, is his work, which has aesthetically reflected political and ecological changes in a way that has kept him relevant over the long haul. Merwin discarded his formal beginnings during the turbulent 1960s, shifting to a looser, fragmentary approach. Since the late 1970s, Merwin has lived in Hawaii, gradually reverting an old pineapple plantation to its pre-colonial rain forest state. He enacts a similar unwriting in his poems of recent decades, stringing images together without overt transitions. Formally, the poems reflect Merwin's attention to a natural order even while they obey an underlying narrative or lyric. Buddhism has also influenced the way meaning sits indirectly within his poems. Merwin's reading in Stewart Theatre in N.C. State's Talley Student Center is sponsored by the university's creative writing MFA program, which poet John Balaban directs. —Chris Vitiello

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