Winner Of Yale Poetry Prize Makes Denison Beck Series Appearance
Date of Event: April 13, 2000
Posted: April 7, 2000
The 1998 winner of the Yale Younger Poets contest, the longest-running poetry prize in America, will read from his work at Denison University under the sponsorship of the Beck Lecture Series. Craig Allen, whose fist book of poetry ? "Shells" ? was published by the Yale Series of Younger Poets in 1999 will appear at 8 p.m. on Thursday (April 13) in the McPhail Center Lecture Hall in Barney-Davis Hall. The reading is free and open to the public.
Arnold's poems about love and friendships often narrate amatory and culinary misadventures. "Friendships based on food," Arnold writes in "Hot," "are rarely stable." The poem was included in The Best of American Poetry 1998. Arnold, who has served as editor at Quarterly West magazine, also received the Amy Lowell Poetry Traveling Scholarship 1996 and was awarded a National Endowment of the Arts fellowship.
"Shells" is the first book selected for the Yale Series of Younger Poets by the distinguished poet W.S. Merwin. (Former judges of the contest, have been Archibald MacLeish, W.H. Auden and James Dickey and former winners have included Muriel Rukeyser and Robert Hass.) Started in 1919, the contest now attracts more than 600 manuscripts from young poets each year. Shells takes its title from its playful examination of the idea of the shell as both the surface of the self and its protection or armor. The poems range from the mock-serious primer of "locker room etiquette," to an elegy for a dead rock singer. Merwin says it is "a gifted collection of daring writing."
Arnold earned his bachelor's degree at Yale in 1989 and is pursuing a doctorate at the University of Utah. His works have appeared in Poetry, The Paris Review, The Yale Review, The New Republic, New Letters and Hayden's Ferry Review. A resident of Salt Lake City, Arnold is also a vocalist and songwriter and he has produced one album with his band, Iris.
Denison University, founded in 1831, is an independent, residential liberal arts institution located in Granville, Ohio. A highly selective college enrolling 2,100 full-time undergraduate students from all 50 states and dozens of foreign countries, Denison is a place where innovative faculty and motivated students collaborate in rigorous scholarship, civic engagement and the cultivation of independent thinking.
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