Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) and the Worcester County Poetry Association will cosponsor a rare reading by two poets laureate, Gertrude Halstead, Worcester's poet laureate, and Sam Cornish, poet laureate of Boston. The free event, which is open to the public, will be held to celebrate Halstead's 92nd birthday. She will read from her book, memories…like burrs, which recalls her escape from Nazi Germany during World War II, but also affirms life and its possibilities. Cornish will read the title poem from Generations, the best known of his many published volumes. The theme of the poem is the wonders and woes of urban life. The event is also sponsored by the WPI offices of the President and Provost, and the Department of Humanities and Arts.
Worcester Mayor Konstantina Lukes will make opening remarks in honor of Halstead. Joining her will be Joseph Bergin of Boston's Poet Laureate Selection Committee.
Sunday, July 20, 2008; from 2 to 3:30 p.m.
Worcester Polytechnic Institute,
Higgins House, John Wing Drive (off Salisbury Street), Worcester, Mass
Over the past two decades, WPI has cosponsored with the Worcester County Poetry Association at least one poetry reading or other literary event per year. Most recently, the university hosted screenings of films about poets Charles Olson and Stanley Kunitz, and readings and workshops by poets Kathleen Spivack and Fran Quinn. In 2005, WPI hosted a reading by Franz Wright, winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry. WPI was cosponsor of the 1997 Elizabeth Bishop Conference and Poetry Festival, a citywide event to commemorate the poetry of Bishop, a Worcester native.