Poet Frank Bidart, whose book Half-Light: Collected Poems 1965-2016 won the National Book Award and Pulitzer Prize in Poetry, and Mexican-born novelist Yuri Herrera, whose three novels have been translated into several languages, read from their work on Wednesday, March 6, as part of the 2018-19 Althea Ward Clark W’21 Reading Series presented by the Program in Creative Writing.
FRANK BIDART’s first books, Golden State and The Book of the Body, both published in the 1970s, gained critical attention and praise, but his reputation as a poet of uncompromising originality was made with The Sacrifice, published in 1983. All three books are collected In the Western Night: Collected Poems 1965-1990. His position in American letters has been solidified through his later works, including Desire, Star Dust, and Watching the Spring Festival. Much of Bidart’s early work focuses on the origins and consequences of guilt. Among his most notable pieces are dramatic monologues presented through such characters as Herbert White, a child-murderer, and Ellen West, an anorexic woman. “Part of his effectiveness comes simply from his ability as a storyteller,” commented Michael Dirda in Washington Post Book World. “You long to discover what happens to his poor, doomed people.”
YURI HERRERA (Actopan, México, 1970) has written three novels, all of them translated into several languages: Trabajos del reino (Kingdom Cons, And Other Stories, 2017) Señales que precederán al fin del mundo (Signs Preceding the End of the World, And Other Stories,2015) and La transmigración de los cuerpos (The Transmigration of Bodies, And Other Stories, 2016). He is currently an assistant professor at Tulane University in New Orleans.