American Poetry’s Greatest Hits: Editing the Oxford Book of American PoetryAn Evening with David Lehman in Conversation with Dana Gioia
Visions and Voices
David Lehman is perhaps the foremost authority on modern and contemporary American poetry. In a remarkable evening, he will read from his own work and discuss the incredible variety of American poetic traditions with Dana Gioia, former chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts.
Description:David Lehman is perhaps the foremost authority on modern and contemporary American poetry. In a remarkable evening, he will read from his own work and discuss the incredible variety of American poetic traditions with Dana Gioia, former chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts. Lehman initiated the Best American Poetry series and edited the definitive Oxford Book of American Poetry, which encompasses the seventeenth century to the present and is the must-read, must-have anthology for anyone interested in American poetry. The Oxford Book of American Poetry includes works by well-known greats such as Ralph Waldo Emerson, Walt Whitman, Emily Dickinson, Robert Frost, Wallace Stevens, William Carlos Williams, T. S. Eliot, W. H. Auden and Marianne Moore as well as more recent gems by A. R. Ammons, John Ashbery, Elizabeth Bishop, Charles Simic and James Merrill. There is a poem by Patti Smith, a song by Bob Dylan, poems by Charles Bukowski and prose poems by Gertrude Stein. In a fascinating conversation with Dana Gioia, Lehman will offer a sweeping view of the vastness and diversity of American poetry and discuss the incredible work involved in selecting American poetry’s greatest hits.
Lehman’s own books of poetry include When a Woman Loves a Man, The Evening Sun, The Daily Mirror, Valentine Place, Operation Memory and An Alternative to Speech. His poetry is captivating, witty, impeccably crafted and often surprising. Poet Mary Jo Bang has written of Lehman’s work, “the whole of a world is here, and the remnants of an era—from Dinah Shore to Bob Dylan, from Hitler to Nixon.” He has received a Guggenheim Fellowship, several fellowships from the Ingram Merrill Foundation, grants from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Lila Wallace–Reader’s Digest Fund and an award in literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. A Fine Romance: Jewish Songwriters, American Songs, the most recent of his six nonfiction books, won a 2010 Deems Taylor Award from the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP). Lehman’s prose and poems have appeared in numerous periodicals, including The New Yorker, The Atlantic, The Times Literary Supplement, the New York Times Magazine, The New Republic, Harper’s,The American Scholar, American Heritage, The Paris Review, American Poetry Review and The Yale Review. He has taught at Columbia, New York University, Hamilton College and Bennington College. He teaches in the graduate writing program of the New School in New York City.