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Festival: New England Poets Laureate

Friday, November 14,7-9 PM, the Wadsworth Atheneum (600 Main Street, Hartford).
Four New England Poets Laureate come together for one incredible evening of poetry! A unique opportunity presented at the oldest public art museum in the United States, featuring Dick Allen, Connecticut; Alice Fogel, New Hampshire; Sydney Lea, Vermont; and Wesley McNair, Maine. Free of charge! A question and answer session will follow the reading.

About the poets:

Dick Allen is regarded as one of America’s leading poets. His seventh collection of poetry, the Zen Buddhist-influenced Present Vanishing, was published by Sarabande Books in October, 2008 . It received the 2009 Connecticut Book Award for Poetry. Allen’s previous two collections, The Day Before: New Poems and Ode to the Cold War: Poems New and Selected, also were published by Sarabande Books. He has received a Pushcart Prize, NEA and Ingram Merrill Poetry Writing Fellowships, among other awards. His poems have been included in The Best American Poetry annual volumes six times, most recently in 2010. Allen’s new poems have appeared recently in or are forthcoming in The New Criterion, Gettysburg Review, The Georgia Review, The Cincinnati Review, Atlantic Monthly, New England Review, and Ploughshares. He and his wife, poet and fiction writer L. N. Allen, live near the shores of Thrushwood Lake, in Trumbull, Connecticut. In 2010, Allen was appointed State Poet Laureate of Connecticut (2010-2015), succeeding John Hollander.
Alice B. Fogel’s third book, Be That Empty, was a national poetry bestseller, and she is also the author of Strange Terrain, a “how-to” book on learning to appreciate poetry without necessarily “getting” it. Nominated for “Best of the Web” as well as 6 times for the Pushcart, her poems have appeared in many journals and anthologies, including Best American Poetry, Robert Hass’s Poet’s Choice, Spillway, Hotel Amerika, Crazyhorse, and Pleiades, and she has received a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts and other awards.  Another collection, Interval: Poems Based Upon Bach’s Goldberg Variations, won the Nicholas Schaffner Award for Music in Literature and is forthcoming in March 2015. She is the NH State Poet Laureate.
Sydney Lea is Poet Laureate of Vermont. His tenth collection of poems, I Was Thinking of Beauty, is now available from Four Way Books,  his collaborative book with Fleda Brown, Growing Old in Poetry: Two Poets, Two Lives, has now been issued in e-book format by Autumn House Press, and Skyhorse Publishing has just published A North Country Life: Tales of Woodsmen, Waters and Wildlife. Other recent publications include Six Sundays Toward a Seventh: Selected Spiritual Poems (Wipf & Stock) and A Hundred Himalayas (U. of Michigan), a sampling from his critical work over four decades.
Wesley McNair is the Poet Laureate of Maine. Poet Philip Levine has called him “one of the great storytellers of contemporary poetry.” The author of nine volumes of poems, he has held grants from the Guggenheim and Fulbright foundations, two Rockefeller fellowships, two grants in creative writing from the National Endowment for the Arts, and an Emmy Award. He has been invited to read his poetry by the Library of Congress, and was chosen as one of five state poets laureate to read at the National Book Festival in Washington, DC, co- chaired by President Barack Obama and Michele Obama. He was recently selected for a United States Artists Fellowship as one of “America’s finest living artists.” McNair’s latest books are Lovers of the Lost: New and Selected Poems, and The Words I Chose: A Memoir of Family and Poetry.