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February 21, 2013

Nobel Prize-winning poet to read from his works

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Cooperstown Crier

---- — Nobel Prize Laureate in Poetry Derek Walcott will read from his works at Hartwick College on Monday, March 11.

He will appear as part of the 2012-13 series of readings “Four Writers Who Changed the World,” which includes four award-winning writers renowned in the arts, humanities and sciences.

Walcott’s lecture is open to the public free of charge, and will be held at 8 p.m. in the Anderson Center for the Arts Theatre on the Hartwick College campus.

Walcott has close ties to Hartwick, having visited the campus more than 25 times, beginning in 1979. The college awarded him an honorary doctoral degree in 1990 in recognition of his many contributions, which includes his writing the play “The Ghost Dance” for Hartwick College’s Cardboard Alley Players in 1989.

Walcott has published 14 collections of poetry, eight collections of plays, and a book of essays. His poetry includes the recent volume “White Egrets” (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2010), as well as “Selected Poems” (2007), “The Prodigal” (2004), and “Tiepolo’s Hound “(2000). Walcott’s plays have been produced throughout the United States, the Caribbean and Europe. The Royal Shakespeare Company, the University of Essex (U.K.) and Hartwick College have all commissioned plays. Among them are the forthcoming “Starry Night” (2013), “The Odyssey: A Stage Version” (1992), “The Joker of Seville” (1978) and “Dream on Monkey Mountain and Other Plays” (1970).

In addition to his Nobel Prize, Walcott has been awarded the MacArthur Foundation “genius” award, a Royal Society of Literature Award, and, in 1988, the Queen’s Medal for Poetry. He is an honorary member of the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters, and a professor of poetry at Essex University.

“Walcott for 35 years has brought to Oneonta audiences his brilliant poetry that gives us our language at its most musical and powerful,” said series coordinator and Hartwick College professor of English Dr. Robert Bensen in a media release. “His readings enchant the audience and memorably transform the occasion.”

Presented by The NEH Visiting Distinguished Professorship in the Humanities and by the Division of Arts and Humanities, all readings in this series are free of charge and the community is encouraged to attend.

A reception and book-signing will follow Walcott’s reading. Copies of his works are available for purchase now and before the reading at the Hartwick College Barnes & Noble Bookstore on campus.

Presenters in the remainder of the series include:

Thursday, April 18, 2013: Novelist and essayist Marilynne Robinson. Pulitzer Prize, PEN/Hemingway Prize, National Book Critics Circle Award; essayist and novelist, author of “When I Was a Child, I Read Books; Gilead, Housekeeping, The Death of Adam, Absence of Mind.”

For more information on Walcott, visit www.poetryfoundation.org or the Times Topics section of the New York Times Online. For additional information on the series, contact Bensen at 431-4902 or bensenr@hartwick.edu.