Jorie Graham to read Pulitzer-winning poetry at Tulane

jorie graham

Courtesy of Mariana Cook

Jorie Graham, Pulitzer Prize-winning poet, photographed in 1999. The poet has won numerous awards, including a MacArthur Genius Grant.

Update: This event has been postponed to an undecided date. Once Newcomb College Institute schedules a new date, a further update will be provided.

“A poem is a private story, after all, no matter how apparently public. The reader is always overhearing a confession.” – Jorie Graham

In true confessional spirit, baring her soul to a Tulane audience, Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Jorie Graham will be reading her poetry at 7 p.m. Monday, Nov. 6 in Freeman Auditorium.

Graham was selected as the 2017 Arons Visiting Poet, an initiative sponsored by the Newcomb College Institute. She will host a poetry workshop centered on the theme “the power of the image” with Tulane professors, high school creative writing teachers and pre-selected Tulane students.

The Florie Gale Arons program brings a distinguished female poet to campus every year. Past visiting poets have included Natasha Tretheway, Tracy K. Smith and Colette Inez.

Molly Pulda, co-facilitator of the Arons Poetry Program and professor of women’s literature at Tulane, helped to organize the event.

“I’m looking forward to hearing Ms. Graham’s reactions to a wide range of works and to watching the participants’ poems take new shape over the course of the workshop,” Pulda said, in a New Wave article.

The Poetry Foundation calls Graham, “one of the most celebrated poets of the American post-war generation.” In addition to the 1996 Pulitzer Prize for Poetry, she was chosen as the Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets from 1997-2003 and was awarded a John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur fellowship, the same award that Tulane associate professor Jesmyn Ward was just granted.

Graham writes about themes including art, history and philosophy, drawing great inspiration from modernists T. S. Elliot and William Butler Yeats.

As Graham once famously said, poetry should not be soothing but instead thought-provoking. Reading her ornate writing and resonant themes, Graham will share her expressive philosophy of life, possibly challenging students with her award-winning literature.

“What poetry can, must, and will always do for us: it complicates us, it doesn’t ‘soothe.’”

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