November 11, 2014

Dean Young and Aleksandar Hemon Read at Lewis Center for the Arts

On Wednesday, November 19, poet and Pulitzer Prize finalist Dean Young and award-winning Bosnian-American fiction writer Aleksandar Hemon will read from their works as part of the Althea Ward Clark W’21 Reading Series of the Program in Creative Writing at the Lewis Center for the Arts. The reading, beginning at 4:30 p.m. at the Berlind Theatre at the McCarter Theatre Center, is free and open to the public.

poet Dean Young

Photo courtesy Dean Young

Dean Young’s numerous collections of poetry include Strike Anywhere (1995), winner of the Colorado Prize for Poetry; Skid (2002), finalist for the Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize; Elegy on Toy Piano (2005), finalist for the Pulitzer Prize; and Primitive Mentor (2008), shortlisted for the International Griffin Poetry Prize. His poems have been featured in Best American Poetry numerous times. He has also written a book on poetics, The Art of Recklessness: Poetry as Assertive Force and Contradiction (2010).

Upon presenting Young with the Academy Award in Literature, the American Academy of Arts and Letters noted, “Dean Young’s poems are as entertaining as a three-ring circus and as imaginative as a canvas by Hieronymus Bosch.”

Young has also been awarded a Stegner Fellowship from Stanford University, as well as fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown. He has taught at the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, the low-residency M.F.A. program at Warren Wilson College, and the University of Texas-Austin, where he holds the William Livingston Chair of Poetry.

Aleksandar Hemon is the author of The Lazarus Project, which was a finalist for the 2008 National Book Award and National Book Critics Circle Award, and three collections of short stories: The Question of Bruno (2001); Nowhere Man (2004), which was also a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award; and Love and Obstacles (2009). Born in Sarajevo, Hemon visited Chicago in 1992, intending to stay for a matter of months. While he was there, Sarajevo came under siege, and he was unable to return home. Hemon wrote his first story in English in 1995. He was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship in 2003 and a “genius grant” from the MacArthur Foundation in 2004.

aleksandar hemon

Photo by Velibor Božović

About his latest collection of nonfiction work, The Book of My Lives, Junot Díaz wrote, “Incandescent. When your eyes close, the power of Aleksandar Hemon’s colossal talent remains.” This autobiographical work was a finalist for the 2013 National Book Critics Circle Award.

The Lewis Center’s Program in Creative Writing is sponsoring this event as part of the Althea Ward Clark W’21 Reading Series, which provides an opportunity for students, as well as all in the greater Princeton region to hear and meet the best writers of contemporary poetry and fiction. All readings are free and open to the public and take place on select Wednesdays at 4:30 p.m. at the Berlind Theatre at McCarter Theatre Center.

Upcoming readings in the series include:

  • New work by students from Program in Creative Writing fall courses on December 10
  • Evie Shockley and Meg Wolitzer on February 11
  • A.E. Stallings and Akhil Sharma on March 11
  • Rachel Kushner and John Yau on April 15
  • New work by students from Program in Creative Writing spring courses on April 29
  • Work by Program in Creative Writing seniors on May 4 and 6

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Steve Runk
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