KU News Release

Feb. 23, 2011
Contact: William J. Harris, wjh8@ku.edu; or Joseph Harrington, jharrington@ku.edu

Award-winning poet Rachel Blau DuPlessis to give reading, lecture

More Information

LAWRENCE — Award-winning poet, critic and essayist Rachel Blau DuPlessis will give a reading and a lecture over a two-day period at the University of Kansas.

The author of “Blue Studios: Poetry and Its Cultural Work” and “The Pink Guitar: Writing as Feminist Practice” will read from her work at 7:30 p.m. Monday, March 7, at the Malott Room in the Kansas Union.

DuPlessis will deliver the Department of English’s prestigious John F. Eberhardt Lecture at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 8, at Alderson Auditorium in the Kansas Union. Her lecture is titled “Reflections on the Long Poem: Autobiography of a Practice.”

Both events are open to the public.

A professor of English at Temple University, DuPlessis is recognized for her critical writing, including “Genders, Races and Religious Cultures in Modern American Poetry, 1908-1934” (Cambridge University Press, 2001). A forthcoming book of criticism is scheduled for release later this year from University of Iowa Press titled “Purple Passages: Patriarchal Poetry and its Ends.”

Since 1986, DuPlessis has been engaged in a long poem project, collected in several book-length installments from Wesleyan University Press and Salt Publishing. Her work has been anthologized in many venues and her poetry and essays have appeared in Italian, Serbian, Greek, Portuguese and Spanish.

“I think it’s fair to say that Rachel Blau DuPlessis is one of the most important figures in American literature today,” said Joseph Harrington, associate professor of English, whose specialty is American poetry since 1900.

Her work has been honored by numerous organizations supporting the arts and humanities, including an appointment to the National Humanities Center in North Carolina in 2008-09 and a residency for poetry at the Rockefeller Foundation’s Bellagio Center in 2007. She received a Pew Fellowship in the Arts in 2002. In the same year, DuPlessis received 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 1999, she received Temple University’s Creative Achievement Award.

More information on DuPlessis’ extensive publishing and editorial history can be found at www.temple.edu/english/people/faculty/duplessis.html.

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