Robert Hass and Kay Ryan

07th November 2011 19:00
Kings Place
90 York Way, N1 9AG
Poet in the City held an evening with two of America’s most engaging poets Robert Hass and Kay Ryan.

Robert Hass was US Poet Laureate 1995-1997 and has received many major accolades including the Pulitzer Prize, a MacArthur ‘Genius’ Award and the National Book Award.

Kay Ryan was Laureate from 2008 to 2010 and has won similarly prestigious acclaim including Guggenheim and National Endowment of the Arts Fellowships, the Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize and, most recently, a MacArthur Fellowship.

With his acute intelligence, emotional honesty and deeply moral sensibility, Robert Hass dissolves the usual boundaries between the personal and the political; his poems are at once intimate and of global significance. Also a brilliant translator, Hass is famous for his contrasting affinities with the poetry of Poland’s Czeslaw Milosz and Japanese haiku masters Basho, Buson and Issa.

Often compared to Emily Dickinson, Kay Ryan was a poetry ‘outsider’ for many years before achieving recognition. She describes her writing process as “a self-imposed emergency… if I don’t write poetry, in the profoundest way I have no way to think.” Her simultaneously condensed and expansive poems – shot through with humour and her trademark love of surprising rhymes – explore the idiosyncrasies of language and the haplessness of the human condition.
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