The 57th Annual Wallace Stevens Poetry Program with D. A. Powell has been postponed until next spring due to the Governor’s State of Emergency and the shifting situation with Covid-19. We are sorry to have to reschedule this event that is a highlight of the year, but we look forward to gathering and celebrating poetry at a time that’s safer for all.
Acclaimed poet D. A. Powell has been praised for both his gravity and his wit. As one critic wrote, “No accessible poet of his generation is half as original, and no poet as original is this accessible.” Powell’s early books, Tea (1998), Lunch (2000), and Cocktails (2004), are often read as a trilogy on the AIDS epidemic. Powell’s fourth book, Chronic (2009), won the Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award and was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. His latest collection, Useless Landscape, or A Guide for Boys (2012) won the National Book Critics Circle Award for poetry. Fellow writer Carl Phillips describes Powell’s poems as “entirely of-the-moment while at every turn [announcing]… not merely an awareness, but an actual confidence with such prosodic traditions as the heroic couplet and the pentameter line, such cultural and literary traditions as those of the Old Testament and of meaningfully comic punning…. No fear, here, of heritage nor of music nor, refreshingly, of authority. Mr. Powell recognizes in the contemporary the latest manifestations of a much older tradition: namely, what it is to be human.” Powell has taught at Harvard and Columbia University, and is currently a Professor at the University of San Francisco.