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History of Skywriting

Celebrated poet Anne Carson to deliver 2016 Pratt lecture

Campus and Community

By Janet Harron

The Department of English and the Faculty of Arts are delighted to announce that the celebrated poet, classicist and translator Anne Carson and her longtime artistic collaborator Robert Currie will give the 2016 Pratt Lecture.

The lecture is evocatively titled On the History of Skywriting.

Anne Carson delivers Pratt Lecture

In addition, on Saturday, March 12, Mr. Currie will direct Ms. Carson, local actor Mike Butler and a number of Memorial University students in a staged reading of Ms. Carson’s Antigonick, her first translation and adaptation of Sophocles’ Antigone.

Illustrious career

Ms. Carson is the MacArthur Fellowship-winning author of Eros the Bittersweet, Autobiography of Red, Nox, and Glass, Irony & God. Among her many honours are the T. S. Eliot Poetry Prize, which she won in 2001 for The Beauty of the Husband: A Fictional Essay in 29 Tangos, and the Griffin Poetry Prize, which she won in 2014 for Red Doc.

Her translations of Greek tragedy have been collected in Grief Lessons and An Oresteia. In 2015 her translation of Euripides’ The Bacchae, starring Ben Whishaw, was staged at the Almeida Theatre in London; her second translation of Antigone was staged at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, and was directed by Ivo van Hove. With Mr. Currie, an artist who has worked with Laurie Anderson and Lou Reed, she teaches Egocircus—an annual course on artistic collaboration at New York University.

Named in honour of the eminent Newfoundland-born poet E. J. Pratt, the annual Pratt Lecture is one of the oldest public lectures at Memorial University, founded in 1968. Past speakers include Northrop Frye, Ursula K. Le Guin and Terry Eagleton. Originally dedicated to exploring aspects of modern poetry, today the lecture explores all aspects of the literary arts.

Two events, two locations

The Pratt Lecture will take place in the D. F. Cook Recital Hall in the School of Music on the St. John’s campus at 8 p.m. on Friday, March 11. Parking is available in lot 15B; audience members are encouraged to arrive early, as seating is limited.

The reading of Antigonick will take place in the Rocket Room above the Rocket Bakery, 272 Water St., at 8 p.m. on Saturday, March 12.

Both events are free to the public.

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