Former US Poet Laureate Robert Pinsky Speaks At UTC Feb. 7

Tuesday, January 24, 2012
Dr. Robert Pinsky
Dr. Robert Pinsky
- photo by Emma Dodge Hanson

Former US Poet Laureate Robert Pinsky will be the third speaker in the 2011-2012 George T. Hunter Lecture Series at UTC on Feb. 7.

During his three terms as U.S. Poet Laureate, Robert Pinsky founded the Favorite Poem Project, which aimed to identify and invigorate poetry’s place in American culture. Dr. Pinksy currently serves as the poetry editor for the online magazine, Slate, and also teaches in the Graduate Writing Program at Boston University.

Dr. Pinksy’s lecture at UTC is entitled “The Value of the Arts and Humanities in Education and Society.” The lecture will be held on Tuesday, Feb. 7, at 7 p.m. in the Roland Hayes Auditorium, in the Fine Arts Building on the UTC Campus. The event is free and open to the public. The doors will open at 6 p.m.; seating is limited and on a first-come, first-served basis.

“Every year, the lecture series has provided an incredible opportunity for UTC students and faculty – as well as the broader community – to engage around critical community issues,” said UTC Chancellor Roger Brown. “We are proud to partner with the Benwood Foundation to have Dr. Pinsky, a nationally recognized poet, participate in the series."

Now in its fourth year, the George T. Hunter Lecture series is sponsored by the Benwood Foundation and UTC. Past speakers have included Doris Kearns Goodwin, Malcolm Gladwell, Mayor Cory Booker and Michelle Rhee.

Author and local food advocate, Michael Pollan, will close out the 2011-2012 Lecture Series on April 19.

About Robert Pinsky:
Throughout his career, Robert Pinsky has been dedicated to identifying and invigorating poetry’s place in the world. As Poet Laureate, Dr. Pinsky founded the Favorite Poem Project, in which thousands of Americans — of varying backgrounds, all ages, and from every state — shared their favorite poems. Dr. Pinsky believed that, contrary to stereotype, poetry had a vigorous presence in the American cultural landscape.

Dr. Pinsky’s poems have earned praise for their musical energy and ambitious range. Selected Poems, (spring 2011) is his most recent volume of poetry. His The Figured Wheel: New and Collected Poems 1966-1996 was a Pulitzer Prize nominee and received the Lenore Marshall Award and the Ambassador Book Award of the English Speaking Union. His other books about poetry include Poetry and the World, nominated for the National Book Critics’ Circle Award, Gulf Music, and The Sounds of Poetry, a brief guide treasured by many young poets.

Dr. Pinsky’s best-selling translation of The Inferno of Dante received the Los Angeles Times Book Award in poetry and the Howard Morton Landon Prize for translation.

The poetry editor for the online magazine Slate, Dr. Pinsky appears regularly on The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer, and publishes frequently in magazines such as The New Yorker, The Atlantic Monthly, The Threepenny Review, American Poetry Review, and The Best American Poetry anthologies. He is one of the few members of the American Academy of Arts and Letters to have appeared on “The Simpsons,” and the Colbert Report.

For more information on the 2011 – 2012 George T. Hunter Lecture Series, visit

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