Emory Report
March 3, 2008
Volume 60, Number 22

Featured poets
• Morri Creech
• Erica Dawson
• Jeffrey Harrison
• Joseph Harrison
• J.D. McLatchy
• Eric McHenry
• Mary Jo Salter
• W.D. Snodgrass
• Mark Strand
• Deborah Warren
• Clive Watkins
• Richard Wilbur
• Greg Williamson

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March 3, 2008
3-day fest hosts ‘fine excess’ of poetry

By Lea McLees

“It was John Keats who wrote that poetry should please by a fine excess,” says Steve Enniss, director of Emory’s Manuscript, Archives, and Rare Book Library. Emory has taken that message to heart, hosting some of the country’s finest poets for “A Fine Excess: A Three-Day Celebration of Poetry” April 2-4.

Dana Gioia, poet and chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts, will open the celebration, which will include poetry readings by the distinguished American poets Richard Wilbur, Mark Strand and W.D. Snodgrass. The three-day program will include readings by 10 additional poets, including the 2005 and 2006 winners of the Anthony Hecht Poetry Prize, Morri Creech and Erica Dawson. The Hecht Prize, named for the late Pulitzer Prize winner, is awarded each year to recognize the best first or second collection of poems.

In addition to more than 10 readings over the three days, the celebration will include interviews with Snodgrass — as well as former U.S. poet laureates Wilbur and Strand — and two exhibitions that highlight the University’s extensive poetry collections.

“Democratic Vistas: Exploring the Raymond Danowski Poetry Library” is curated by Kevin Young, Atticus Haygood Professor of English and Creative Writing, and draws on the 75,000-volume Danowski collection of English-language poetry, donated to Emory in 2003. This exhibition, accompanied by a published catalog, includes rare editions of some of the 20th century’s most important works of poetry, ranging literally from A to Z, from W.H. Auden to Louis Zukofsky.

A companion exhibition, curated by Jennifer Brady, “Visions and Revisions: An Exhibition of Poems in Process,” traces the creative process through 16 sets of manuscript drafts, including the worksheets of Seamus Heaney, Sylvia Plath and Emory’s own Natasha Trethewey.

Other poets participating in the celebration include Jeff Harrison, Joseph Harrison, J.D. McClatchy, Eric McHenry, Mary Jo Salter, Deborah Warren, Clive Watkins and Greg Williamson.

“A Fine Excess” is sponsored by the Emory Libraries; MARBL; Emory’s Creativity and the Arts Initiative; The Waywiser Press; Emory’s Creative Writing Program, Humanities Council and English Department; with additional support from the National Endowment for the Arts. The three-day celebration is free and open to the public.