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Release: Aug. 31, 2001

Pulitzer Prize winning poet Anthony Hecht returns to Iowa to read from new book Sept. 13

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Anthony Hecht, a former student of the University of Iowa Writers’ Workshop, will read from his new collection, “The Darkness and the Light: Poems,” at 8 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 13 in Room 101 of the UI Biology Building East. The reading, sponsored by the Writers’ Workshop and the UI International Writing Program (IWP), is free and open to the public.

During his visit to the UI, Hecht will also meet with current students in the Writers’ Workshop and participants in the IWP for a question-and-answer session.

“The Darkness and the Light” is Hecht’s eighth volume of lyric and formally rigorous poetry, a body of work that includes the Pulitzer-winning “The Hard Hours” in 1968, and the 1998 collection “Flight Among the Tombs: Poems.” In the 1990s he delivered the Mellon lectures in poetry, which became the book “On the Laws of Poetic Art.”

Glyn Maxwell wrote in “The Oxford Companion to Twentieth-century Poetry in English”: “The work of Anthony Hecht shatters the cozy notion that a fragmented, fractured age should be reflected in the forms of its art, that ugliness and shapelessness demand payment in kind. Like Auden, he has absorbed the evils and grotesqueries of his unhappy century into a verse both highly formal and all-encompassing, stitching wounds with iambs, sculpting pentameters of sustained, Latinate beauty, sounding a healing music.”

Tim Gavin wrote of “The Darkness and the Light” in the Library Journal, “Hecht has revealed the scope of his craft in his quality translations of Horace, Baudelaire and Goethe; here, he pays homage to his predecessors by bringing to light the strong connection between contemporary and biblical themes in such poems as ‘Sacrifice’ and ‘The Road to Damascus.’ An exceptional book of poetry, Hecht’s latest endeavor is highly recommended for all poetry collections.”

Hecht has received the Bollingen Prize, the Ruth Lilly Prize, the Loines Award, the Librex-Guggenheim Eugenio Montale Award, the Harriet Monroe Poetry Award and, in 2000, the Robert Frost Medal from the Poetry Society of America; and fellowships from The Academy of American Poets, the American Academy in Rome, the Ford Foundation, the Guggenheim Foundation, and the Rockefeller Foundation. He is a Chancellor Emeritus of The Academy of American Poets.

During his academic career he taught at several universities, including the University of Rochester and Georgetown University.