University of Pittsburgh
March 15, 2010

Literary Theorist to Offer Glimpse of the Future of Poetry During March 25 Interview at Pitt

Contact:  412-624-4147

PITTSBURGH-Literary theorist and critically acclaimed poet Nathaniel Mackey will offer his perspective of what tomorrow holds for poetry during an interview titled "The Future of Poetry II," at 8:30 p.m. March 25 in the Frick Fine Arts Auditorium, 650 Schenley Dr., Oakland. The free public event is a continuation of the Pittsburgh Contemporary Writers Series' 2009-10 season.

The interview will be conducted by Pitt assistant professor of English Ben Lerner, poetry editor for "Critical Quarterly" and the author of the poetry collections "Angle of Yaw" (Copper Canyon Press, 2006) and "The Lichtenberg Figures" (Copper Canyon Press, 2004).

For the past two decades, Mackey's major prose project has been "From A Broken Bottle Traces of Perfume Still Emanate"-an experiment in serial fiction that has produced four books. He is the author of "Splay Anthem" (New Directions, 2006), which won the 2006 National Book Award for Poetry.

Mackey's work has earned him numerous honors, including election to the Board of Chancellors of the Academy of American Poets, the Roy Harvey Pearce/Archive for New Poetry Prize, and the Stephen Henderson Award from the African American Literature and Culture Society. He is editor of the literary magazine "Hambone" and coeditor of the anthology "Moment's Notice: Jazz in Poetry and Prose" (Coffee House Press, 1993). He currently serves as a professor of literature and writing at the University of California, Santa Cruz.

The 2009-10 Pittsburgh Contemporary Writers Series season is cosponsored by Pitt's Writing Program, Book Center, University Library System, and University of Pittsburgh Press. This season's series will conclude April 1 with a rescheduled discussion between essayist Sven Birkets and blogger Maud Newton titled "Future of the Book."

All events in the Writers Series are free and open to the public. For more information, contact Jeff Oaks at or visit