Maryland’s Poet Laureate to Speak at Alden Library< < Back to
On Tuesday, Feb. 2, Ohio University alumnus Dr. Stanley Plumly, Maryland’s award-winning poet laureate and distinguished university professor at the University of Maryland, will read from his latest work titled, The Immortal Evening: A Legendary Dinner with Keats, Wordsworth, and Lamb.
The program, held from 2-3 p.m. in the 1951 Lounge on the fourth floor of Alden Library, will consist of a reading from his book followed by an interview with Dr. Jill Allyn Rosser, an associate professor of English at Ohio University and author of Mimi’s Trapeze, her fourth collection of poems.
The author of several poetry and non-fiction books, Plumly has served as the poet laureate of Maryland since 2009, an honor given to a poet whose body of work meets the criteria outlined by their residential state.
Plumly earned his B.A. from Wilmington College and a M.A. and Ph.D. from Ohio University. From 1970 to 1975, he co-founded and served as editor of The Ohio Review (now known as New Ohio Review), and from 1976 to 1978, he edited The Iowa Review. In 2010, Plumly was elected to receive membership into the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, a distinguished honorary society that conducts policy research related to science, scholarship, business, public affairs and the arts.
In addition to teaching at some of the country’s most esteemed institutions, including Columbia, the University of Michigan, the University of Iowa and Princeton, Plumly has received numerous honors throughout the course of his longstanding career, such as a Guggenheim Fellowship (1973); an Academy Award in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters (2002); and the LA Times Book Prize (2008), among others.
Most recently, Plumly was awarded the Truman Capote Prize for Literary Criticism (2015) for his most recent work, The Immortal Evening: A Legendary Dinner with Keats, Wordsworth, and Lamb.
The Immortal Evening is a non-fiction work that provides a glimpse into painter Benjamin Robert Haydon’s momentous “immortal dinner,” in which he hosts famous guest poets John Keats and William Wordsworth along with essayist Charles Lamb, who all appear in his famous painting Christ’s Entry into Jerusalem. During this celebratory evening meal, held in 1817, the reader is given a rare glimpse into the lives of these revered writers as they enthusiastically discuss poetry, art and Enlightenment science.
In a book review published by The New York Times in 2014, author Priscilla Gilman wrote that Plumly “…offers an idiosyncratic, heartfelt, at once sinuous and expansive exploration of the dinner…Plumly probes and replicates the conversational style of Lamb’s essays and—Wordsworth’s poetry, and as Haydon did with his dinner parties, gives us ‘small talk and big talk, with one’s hair down.’ He reminds us that friendship is often the spur of art…”
The event is free and open to the public. Light refreshments will be served. A live webcast of the event will be available here.