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The Life of a Poet: Conversations with Ron Charles – Brenda Shaughnessy
February 7 @ 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Join Ron Charles, The Washington Post Editor of Book World, for an in-depth discussion with poet Brenda Shaughnessy. The Life of a Poet series offers a rare opportunity to consider a writer’s entire career and explore the major events that have shaped their work. Readings from the work are interspersed throughout the conversation. A book signing will follow.
Brenda Shaughnessy earned a BA from the University of California, Santa Cruz, and an MFA from Columbia University. She is the author of Interior with Sudden Joy (1999), Human Dark with Sugar (2008), winner of the James Laughlin Award from the Academy of American Poets, Our Andromeda (2012), and So Much Synth (2016). Her work has appeared in theYale Review, the Boston Review, McSweeney’s, and Best American Poetry, among other places. With C.J. Evans, she edited the anthology Satellite Convulsions: Poems from Tin House Magazine (2009).
Shaughnessy’s work is known for its ability to twin opposites: her poems are both playful and erotic, lyrical and funny, formal and strange. Reviewing Human Dark with Sugar, poet Cate Peebles noted that “Shaughnessy draws attention to the contradiction of being made up of so many parts while appearing to be one single body.” In the New Yorker, Hilton Als said of her book, Our Andromeda: “it further establishes Shaughnessy’s particular genius, which is utterly poetic, but essayistic in scope, encompassing ideas about astronomy, illness, bodies, the family, ‘normalcy,’ home.”
Shaughnessy has received numerous honors and awards for her work, including fellowships from the Radcliffe Institute, where she was a Bunting Fellow, the Japan/U.S. Friendship Commission, and the Howard Foundation of Brown University. She has taught at universities including Columbia, the New School, Princeton, and New York University. Poetry editor-at-large of Tin House, Shaughnessy is currently an assistant professor of English at Rutgers University, where she also teaches in the MFA program.
Ron Charles is the editor of The Washington Post’s Book World section. For several years, he also edited The Post’s “Poet’s Choice” column in Book World. His reviews have won the National Book Critics Circle Award for best criticism and 1st place for Arts & Entertainment Commentary from the Society for Features Journalism. Washingtonian Magazine named him as one of the 40 people who shaped DC in 2010.
This event is free and open to the public. Reservations are required.
Co-sponsored by Hill Center at the Old Naval Hospital, the Library of Congress, The Washington Post and National Capital Bank.