century, Joseph Brodsky, Nobel Laureate (1987) and former Poet
Laureate of the United States (1991-1992), came to this country as an exile
from the Soviet Union. Lyrical and passionate, his poems rise out
of suffering and loss: "I was raised by the cold that, to warm my
palm, I gathered my fingers around a pen." Exile as metaphor for
the condition of post-modern man pervades his work.
Arrested at 24 for "social parasitism," Brodsky served 20
months of hard labor in Arkhangelsk, a northern region of
Russia. He was forced into exile eight years later, and went to
Vienna, then to the U.S. The scars from his arrest and exile are
visible in his poems, rich with concrete images of his painful
past. He continues to write in his native Russian, although he
often translates his own work into English.
Poet, essayist, and teacher, Brodsky's work includes Selected
Poems (1973), A Part of Speech (1981), and To Urania (1992), as well as the widely
acclaimed collection of essays Less Than One: Selected Essays (1986). He has taught at
Columbia University, New York University, Amherst College,
and Mount Holyoke, where he is currently Andrew Mellon
Professor of the Humanities.
Please join us for this literary luncheon. Lunch is served at
11:45 a.m. Mr. Brodsky speaks at 12:15.