The English Department is pleased to announce that our 2013 Duffy Lecturer is Rachel Blau DuPlessis, Professor Emerita of English at Temple University. Her lecture, titled "The Cosmological Long Poem of Long Modernity," will take place in the Eck Visitors Center Auditorium at 5:00 pm, Tuesday, October 8. A reception will follow.
DuPlessis (PhD, Columbia University) is known as a poet and essayist, and as a critic and scholar with a special interest in modern and contemporary poetry. From 1986 until 2012, she has been engaged in a long poem project, collected in several book-length installments from Wesleyan University Press and Salt Publishing. The newest book, Surge: Drafts 96-114, was published by Salt in 2013, bringing this 26-year long poem to a temporary fold. Books belonging to this project are Drafts 1-38, Toll (Wesleyan, 2001); DRAFTS. Drafts 39-57, Pledge with Draft, Unnumbered: Précis (Salt Publishing, 2004): Torques: Drafts 58-76 (Salt Publishing, 2007) and Pitch: Drafts 77-95 (Salt Publishing, 2010). The Collage Poems of Drafts appeared in 2011 from Salt Publishing.
Her recent Purple Passages: Pound, Eliot, Zukofsky, Olson, Creeley and the Ends of Patriarchal Poetry (University of Iowa Press, 2012) is part of a feminist trilogy of works about gender and poetics that includes The Pink Guitar: Writing as Feminist Practice and Blue Studios: Poetry and its Cultural Work, both from University of Alabama Press. Another key critical book by DuPlessis is Genders, Races, and Religious Cultures in Modern American Poetry, 1908-1934 (Cambridge University Press, 2001).
DuPlessis received Temple University’s Creative Achievement Award in 1999. In 2002, she was awarded the third Roy Harvey Pearce / Archive for New Poetry Prize, given biennially to an American poet/scholar who has made a significant lifetime contribution to American poetry and literary scholarship. In 2002 she was also awarded a Pew Fellowship in the Arts; in 2007 a residency for poetry at Bellagio, sponsored by the Rockefeller Foundation; in 2008-09 an appointment to the National Humanities Center in North Carolina; and in 2012 DuPlessis was a distinguished visitor in the English Department at the University of Auckland.