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Presentation and Q&A: "How to Write About Nature"

Poetry Editor David Baker
Friday, January 14, 2022
12:00-1:00 PM
Off Campus Location
This event is open to MFA students, English PhD students, Zell Fellows, and recent MFA alumni only. Please email for login instructions.

Is any subject of more urgency to the poet—and to the global citizen—than the circumstances of our natural environment? Yet how do we write about nature? What is nature? What are some productive modes of approach for poets as they engage with the site, circumstance, or subject of nature?

David Baker has been associated with The Kenyon Review since the mid-1980s, serving for more than 25 years as its Poetry Editor. In that capacity he has brought hundreds of poets and their work to the forefront of this major American literary journal—not just Nobel and Pulitzer Prize winners but also emerging poets, not yet to publish their first books at the time, like Solmaz Sharif, Victoria Chang, Burnside Soleil, and many more. He is currently curating and editing the magazine’s annual ecological portfolio, “Nature’s Nature,” now in its eighth year.

Baker lives and writes in Granville, Ohio, where for many years he held the Thomas B. Fordham Chair of Poetry at Denison University; he is currently an Emeritus Professor at Denison, teaching in the spring semesters only. He has taught previously at Kenyon College and as a visiting professor at the Ohio State University and the University of Michigan. He has also taught for several semesters at the MFA low-residential program for writers at Warren Wilson College.

Baker is author of thirteen books of poetry, most recently Whale Fall (W. W. Norton, forthcoming in 2022), Swift: New and Selected Poems, (Norton, 2019), Scavenger Loop (Norton, 2015), and Never-Ending Birds (Norton, 2009), which won the Theodore Roethke Memorial Poetry Prize in 2011. His six books of prose include Seek After: Essays on Modern Lyric Poets (SFA University Press, 2018), Show Me Your Environment: Essays on Poetry, Poets, and Poems (Michigan, 2014) and, with Ann Townsend, Radiant Lyre: Essays on Lyric Poetry (Graywolf, 2007). Among his awards are prizes and grants from the Guggenheim Foundation, National Endowment for the Arts, Mellon Foundation, Poetry Society of America, Ohio Arts Council, and the Society of Midland Authors. His individual poems and essays have appeared in such journals as American Poetry Review, The Atlantic, The Nation, The New York Times, The New Yorker, Poetry, The Yale Review, and many more.
Building: Off Campus Location
Location: Virtual
Event Type: Lecture / Discussion
Tags: Literature
Source: Happening @ Michigan from University of Michigan Helen Zell Writers' Program, English Language & Literature - MFA Program in Creative Writing, Department of English Language and Literature