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Thursday
12
APR

A Poetry Reading by Campbell McGrath at Webster University

13:30
14:30

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No matter what he takes into consideration—the aches and pains of capitalism, a “Bob Hope Poem” x-ray of the American soul, the connection between Nagasaki and Walt Disney, shopping for pomegranates on New Year’s Day, growing up in poetry’s eccentric household with Papa Walt and Mama Emily, or the uniquely twentieth-century preoccupations of Picasso, Elvis Presley, Chairman Mao, and Frida Kahlo—Campbell McGrath draws on his innate skills as historian, anthropologist, documentarian, and pop-culture caretaker, pressing all these into the service of his clear-throated lyric gift: showing us our improbable selves—like them or not. In expansive free verse, prose poems, and delightful formal riffs, he takes the measure of our song and makes some startlingly beautiful translations.

McGrath has published ten books of poems, including American Noise, Spring Comes to Chicago, In the Kingdom of the Sea Monkeys and, most recently, XX: Poems for the Twentieth Century, a sequence of one hundred poems (and a finalist for the 2017 Pulitzer Prize). He’s the recipient of a prestigious MacArthur Foundation Fellowship—perhaps never more appropriately known as a “genius grant.” The Frost Professor of Creative Writing at Florida International University, McGrath lives in Miami Beach.