University of Pittsburgh
March 26, 2007

Poets Swenson and St. John to Speak at Pitt April 4

The lecture and readings are part of the Pittsburgh Contemporary Writers Series
Contact:  412-624-4147

PITTSBURGH- As the final installment of the 2006-07 Pittsburgh Contemporary Writers Series, poets Cole Swenson and David St. John will give an afternoon lecture and evening readings April 4 at the University of Pittsburgh. The lecture, titled "The Death of the 'Poetic School'" will be held at 2:30 p.m. in Room 501, Cathedral of Learning, 4200 Fifth Ave., Oakland. That evening, Swenson and St. John will read their poetry at 8:30 p.m. in the Frick Fine Arts Building Auditorium, 650 Schenley Dr., Oakland. These events are free and open to the public.

A renowned literary translator and poet, Swenson is the recipient of numerous awards, including the Iowa Poetry Prize and New American Poetry Series Award. Her books include Goest (Alice James Brooks, 2004), Such Rich Hour (University of Iowa Press, 2001), Oh (Apogee Press, 2000), Try (University of Iowa Press, 1999), Noon (Green Integer, 1997), Numen (Burning Deck Books, 1995), New Math (William Morrow & Company, 1988), and In the Book of a Hundred Hands (University of Iowa Press, 2005). Swenson's translations of contemporary French poetry include L'Art Poetic by Oliver Cadiot (Green Integer, 1999) and Natural Gaits by Pierre Alferi (Sun and Moon Classics, 1995).

Swenson received the B.A. and M.A. degrees from San Francisco State University and the Ph.D. degree from the University of California, Santa Cruz. Swenson is an associate professor in the Iowa Writers' Workshop at the University of Iowa.

A Fresno, Calif., native, St. John is the author of six books of poetry, including Prism (Arctos Press, 2002), Study for the World's Body: New and Selected Poems (Perennial, 1994), and Hush (Houghton Mifflin Company, 1976). St. John's work has been published in such literary magazines as The New Yorker, The Paris Review, The American Poetry Review, and The New Republic. He is the recipient of the Discovery/The Nation prize, James D. Phelan Prize, Prix de Rome fellowship in literature, several National Endowment for the Arts Fellowships, and a Guggenheim Fellowship.

St. John earned the B.A. degree at California State University, Fresno, and the M.F.A. degree at the University of Iowa. He is the director of the Ph.D. program in literature and creative writing at the University of Southern California.

The Pittsburgh Contemporary Writers Series is cosponsored by the Wyndham Garden Hotel-University Place and Pitt's Book Center, University of Pittsburgh Press, and Creative Nonfiction and Film Studies Programs.

For more information, call 412-624-6506 or visit