The English Department is pleased to announce a poetry reading by our 2013 Duffy Lecturer, Rachel Blau DuPlessis, Professor Emerita of English at Temple University.
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.