R249. Revoicing the Real: The Poem as Passionate Investigator

Room 7, 8, & 9, Tampa Convention Center, First Floor
Thursday, March 8, 2018
3:00 pm to 4:15 pm


In an era when basic facts are disbelieved, how can poems represent the real and explore its several truths? Four poets read distinctly personal poems that incorporate public voices, hidden histories, and documents; poems that use convict ledgers, newspaper reports, and government files; and poems that use memoirs and graffiti. How do these poems turn their investigations into passionate versions of the real? How do they grapple with cultural materials, and “derange history into poetry”?



David Gewanter's new book is Fort Necessity; the title poem considers the body broken by work, from the Carnegie era to the Kochs. He is coeditor of Robert Lowell: Collected Poems. Most recent poetry book: War Bird. He has received prizes from Zacharis; Bynner; Whiting; and Hopwood. He teaches at Georgetown.

Peter Balakian is the author of seven books of poems, most recently Ozone Journal, winner of the Pulitzer Prize. Other collections include ZigguratJune-tree: New and Selected Poems 1974–2000, and Dyer’s Thistle. His memoir Black Dog of Fate is the winner of the PEN/Albrand Prize for memoir and a New York Times notable book.

Mary-Sherman Willis's books of poems include Caveboy and Graffiti Calculus, a translation of Jean Cocteau’s Appogiatures, and a new chapbook, A Long Shoot Sweeping. She has taught at George Washington University and NYU, Shanghai, and she serves on the Folger's O.B. Hardison Poetry Board.

Joshua Weiner is the author of three books of poetry, and most recently, Berlin Notebook. The recipient of the Rome Prize, a Whiting Award, and a Guggenheim Fellowship, he is professor of English at University of Maryland and the poetry editor of Tikkun magazine.


February 7–10, 2024
Kansas City, Missouri

Kansas City Convention Center