Portland Museum of Art Presents Lecture by Robert Pinsky United States Poet Laureate

The Portland Museum of Art will present a lecture by U.S. Poet Laureate Robert Pinsky on Monday, March 7, 2011 at 6 p.m. at the Holiday Inn By the Bay. Entitled Is Vision The Twin of Speech? and inspired by the exhibition Weston: Leaves of Grass (on view through March 13), Pinsky will share his love of poetry, Walt Whitman, and belief in the potential for poetry to be part of everyday life. Tickets are $15/$10 for members and can be purchased at portlandmuseum.org or at the Museum. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. A book signing will follow the lecture at the Museum.

As three term U.S. Poet Laureate, Robert Pinsky is a public ambassador for poetry, dedicating himself to identifying and invigorating poetry’s place in the world. Founding the Favorite Poem Project, he sought to document that presence, giving voice to the American audience for poetry. Elegant and tough, vividly imaginative, Pinsky’s own poems have earned praise for their wild musical energy and ambitious range. For his most recent volume of poetry, Gulf Music (2007), The New York Times Book Review stated, “Pinsky is our finest living specimen of this sadly rare breed, and the poems of Gulf Music are among the best examples we have of poetry’s ability to illuminate not only who we are as humans, but who we are-and can be-as a nation.”

The poetry editor for the online magazine Slate, Pinsky appeared regularly on The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer for seven years. Pinsky’s poems appear in magazines such as The New Yorker, The Atlantic Monthly, The Threepenny Review, American Poetry Review, and frequently in The Best American Poetry anthologies.

His Tanner Lectures at Princeton University were published as Democracy, Culture and the Voice of Poetry (Princeton University Press, 2002), and he currently teaches in the graduate writing program at Boston University. Pinsky is winner of the PEN/Voelcker Award, the William Carlos Williams Prize, the Lenore Marshall Prize, the National Foundation for Jewish Culture’s 2006 Jewish Cultural Achievement Award in Literary Arts, and the 2008 Theodore M. Roethke Memorial Poetry Award. He is one of the few members of the American Academy of Arts and Letters to have appeared on The Simpsons (Season 13, Episode 20) and The Colbert Report (April 19, 2007).

The title of his lecture, Is Vision The Twin of Speech? is based on these lines in Leaves of Grass, section 25:

My voice goes after what my eyes cannot reach.
With the twirl of my tongue I encompass worlds and volumes of worlds.

Speech is the twin of my vision, it is unequal to measure itself.
It provokes me forever, it says sarcastically,
Walt you contain enough, why don’t you let it out then?

This program is made possible by The Bernard A. Osher Lecture Fund at the Portland Museum of Art.

Museum Information
The Portland Museum of Art is located at Seven Congress Square in downtown Portland. The Museum is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday, and 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Friday. Memorial Day through Columbus Day, the Museum is open on Mondays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Museum admission is $10 for adults, $8 for seniors and students with I.D., $4 for youth ages 6 to 17, and children under 6 are free. The Museum is free on Friday evenings from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. Museum Cafe and Store. For more information, call (207) 775-6148. Web site www.portlandmuseum.org

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