Smile Politely

Hear from poets David Baker, Linda Gregerson, and Carl Phillips on December 2nd

Preeminent American poets David Baker, Linda Gregerson, and Carl Phillips will be on the University of Illinois campus December 2nd for a reading and panel discussion. Find yourself at the Spurlock Museum’s Knight Auditorium from 4 to 5:30 p.m. on Friday, December 2nd. 

Check out their bios below, courtesy of the Creative Writing Program at the U of I. 

David Baker is a poet, educator, editor, and literary critic.  He was born in 1954 in Bangor, Maine, grew up in Jefferson City, Missouri, and since 1983 has lived in central Ohio.  He received his B.S.E. and M.A. degrees in English from the University of Central Missouri and his Ph.D. in English from the University of Utah, where he also served from 1980-83 as Editor and Poetry Editor of Quarterly West.  Since 1984 Baker has taught at Denison University, in Granville, Ohio, where he is currently a teaching Emeritus Professor of English.  Baker also serves frequently on the faculty of the MFA program for writers at Warren Wilson College and at writers’ workshops around the country.  After serving as Poetry Editor of The Kenyon Review for more than twenty-five years, he currently curates the annual “Nature’s Nature” feature for the magazine.  David is the author or editor of nineteen books, including thirteen books of poetry, most recently Whale Fall (2022, W. W. Norton), Swift: New and Selected Poems (2019, W. W. Norton), Scavenger Loop (2015, W. W. Norton) and Never-Ending Birds (2009, W. W. Norton), which was awarded the Theodore Roethke Memorial Poetry Prize in 2011, and six books of prose, most recently Seek After: On Seven Modern Lyric Poets  (2018, SFASU).  His individual poems and essays have appeared in the country’s finest journals, including American Poetry Review, Antaeus, The Atlantic Monthly, The Georgia Review, The Kenyon Review, The Nation, The New Criterion, The New Republic, The New York Times, The New Yorker, The Paris Review, Poetry, Raritan, The Southern Review, Tin House, The Virginia Quarterly Review, and The Yale Review.  His poetry has been anthologized in The Longman Anthology of Poetry, The Making of a Sonnet, The Morrow Anthology of Younger American Poets, The Penguin Book of the Sonnet, Strong Measures: Contemporary American Poetry in Traditional Forms, The New Bread Loaf Anthology of Contemporary Poetry, and many others.  

Linda Gregerson earned a BA from Oberlin College, an MA from Northwestern University, an MFA from the University of Iowa Writers’ Workshop, and a PhD from Stanford University. She is the author of several collections of poetry, including Prodigal: New and Selected Poems, 1976–2014, The Selvage (2012), Waterborne (2002), and The Woman Who Died in Her Sleep (1996). A Renaissance scholar, a classically trained actor, and a devotee of the sciences, Gregerson produces lyrical poems informed by her expansive reading that are inquisitive, unflinching, and tender.  Her book Magnetic North was a National Book Award finalist, and Waterborne (2002) won the Kingsley Tufts Award. Gregerson’s other awards include the American Academy of Arts and Letters Award in Literature, the Consuelo Ford Award from the Poetry Society of America, three Pushcart Prizes, and the Levinson Prize from Poetry magazine. She has also received fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the Mellon Foundation, the Rockefeller Foundation Bellagio Center, the Institute for Advanced Study, the National Humanities Center, and the National Endowment for the Arts.  Gregerson’s books of literary criticism include Negative Capability: Contemporary American Poetry (2001) and The Reformation of the Subject: Spenser, Milton, and the English Protestant Epic (1995).  In 2015, she was elected a Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets. She teaches at the University of Michigan.  

Referred to as “one of America’s most original, influential, and productive of lyric poets,” Carl Phillips is the author of a dozen books of poetry and two works of criticism. He was born in Everett, Washington in 1959, and his family moved frequently around the United States. He earned a BA from Harvard, an MAT from the University of Massachusetts, and an MA in creative writing from Boston University. Before teaching English at the university level, he taught Latin at several high schools. He is Professor of English at Washington University in St. Louis, where he also teaches creative writing. Phillips was elected a chancellor of the Academy of American Poets in 2006, and since 2011 he has served as the judge for the Yale Series of Younger Poets.  Phillips’s most recent books of poetry are Then the War: And Selected Poems (2022), Pale Colors in a Tall Field (2020), Wild Is the Wind (2018), Reconnaissance (2015), Silverchest (2013, nominated for the Griffin Prize), Double Shadow (2011, winner Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Poetry and finalist for the National Book Award), and Speak Low (2009, finalist for the National Book Award). His other books include Quiver of Arrows: Selected Poems, 1986-2006, Riding Westward (2006), The Rest of Love (2004), and Rock Harbor (2002). Phillips has also published works of criticism and translation. Graywolf Press has published two collections of his essays: The Art of Daring: Risk, Restlessness, Imagination (2014) and Coin of the Realm: Essays on the Life and Art of Poetry (2004). Oxford University Press published Phillips’s translation of Sophocles’s Philoctetes (2003).  Phillips’s honors include fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation and the Library of Congress. He is the recipient of the Academy of American Poets Fellowship, an Award in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the Academy of American Poets Prize, and a Pushcart Prize, and he has been inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Phillips lives in St. Louis, Missouri.  

Poetics Symposium: David Baker, Linda Gregerson, and Carl Phillips
Knight Auditorium
Spurlock Museum
F Dec 2nd, 4 to 5:30 p.m.

Top image, all from the Poetry Foundation’s website (l-r): Carl Phillips, courtesy of the poet; Linda Gregerson by Nina Subin and Blue Flower Arts; David Baker by Katherine Bake. 


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