Updated 2/20/15: MFA student Danielle Chin profiled this event over at the Best American Poetry Blog:
On February 11th, over a hundred colleagues, family, friends, former students, and admirers gathered in Wollman Hall at The New School to celebrate the poetry of the late Paul Violi and to launch a posthumous collection of his poems, Selected Poems 1970-2007 (Ginko Press, 2014), edited by Violi’s lifelong friends, authors Charles North and Tony Towle. Violi, who died in April 2011, had published a dozen collections of poetry, including Overnight(Hanging Loose Press, 2007), Breakers: New and Selected Poems (Coffee House Press, 2000), In Baltic Circles(Kulchur Press, 1973), and Waterworks (Toothpaste Press, 1972). During his lifetime, he had been internationally anthologized and awarded numerous honors and grants, including two National Endowment for the Arts fellowships, a John Ciardi Lifetime Achievement Award, and The Morton Dauwen Zabel Award.
Visit the Best American Poetry blog for the full story.
The MFA in Creative Writing Program at The New School will host A Tribute to Paul Violi on Wednesday, February 11th. The event features a book launch and reading of Paul Violi’s Selected Poems: 1970-2007 (Gingko Press), edited by Charles North and Tony Towle.
David Lehman will join Charles North and Tony Towle, editors of the Selected Poems, in reading from the new book, along with co-host Laura Cronk. The winners of the first four Paul Violi poetry competitions – Alex Crowley, Justin Sherwood, Alexandra Bennett, and Carson Donnelly – will also read, with a public reception to follow. The Paul Violi Prize in Poetry is given annually to a second-year poetry student in The New School’s graduate writing program.
Paul Violi, one of the major New York School poets of his generation, was celebrated for his inventive wit, his ability to find the poetic resonance of non-poetic language, his deadpan and his ability to get serious ideas across without didactic earnestness. An inspiring poet and beloved instructor, he wrote more than a dozen collections of poetry, including Waterworks (1972); In Baltic Circles (1973, 2011); Harmatan (1977), which was based on his experiences as a Peace Corps volunteer in Nigeria; the groundbreaking Splurge (1982); Likewise (1988); The Curious Builder (1993); Breakers: Selected Poems (2000); and Overnight (2007).
Violi received the John Ciardi Lifetime Achievement Award in Poetry, the American Academy of Arts and Letters Morton Dauwen Zabel Award, and fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Ingram Merrill Foundation. He taught at New York University and Columbia University. At the time of his death in April 2011, he was a long-time faculty member in the New School’s graduate writing program.
A Tribute to Paul Violi
Wednesday, February 11, 6:30pm
65 W. 11th Street, Wollman Hall (5th floor)
Free and open to all