Mortally Beautiful: C.K. Williams and Stanley Plumly (2013)

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The O.B. Hardison Poetry Series held Mortally Beautiful: C.K. Williams and Stanley Plumly on October 28, 2013, in the Folger's Elizabethan Theatre. Michael Collier gave the introduction and moderated the conversation.

C.K. Williams

C. K. Williams’ most recent book, Writers Writing Dying, explores the hubris of youth and the looming specter of death. Williams has published many books of poetry, including Repair, which won the 2000 Pulitzer Prize; The Singing, which won the National Book Award; and Flesh and Blood, winner of the National Book Critics Circle Prize. His many awards include the Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize, a Guggenheim Fellowship, a Lila Wallace Fellowship, and prizes from PEN and the American Academy of Arts and Letters. He teaches in the Creative Writing Program at Princeton University, is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and is currently a chancellor of the American Academy of Poets.

Stanley Plumly

Stanley Plumly.

Stanley Plumly’s work honors nature and lost loved ones in verse that is both elegant and lyrical. Plumly’s latest collection of poems is Orphan Hours. His many awards include the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, the Delmore Schwartz Memorial Award, the Academy of American Poetry Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize, an Academy Award in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and the William Carlos Williams Award. He is a Distinguished University Professor at the University of Maryland, College Park.

Stanley Plumly has read for the O.B. Hardison Poetry Series previously, on February 10, 1987, March 19, 1998, and May 3, 2004.



Reviews and excerpts

“Drawn from a life’s passage, Orphan Hours is Stanley Plumly’s masterpiece.” —poet David St. John

“Williams’s poems enter the brain with such force and velocity, you don’t so much read as ride them.”— Booklist


From Haste

Unbuckle your spurs life don’t you know up ahead

where the road ends there’s

an abyss?


From WRITERS WRITING DYING © 2012 by C.K. Williams, published by Farrar Straus and Giroux. Used with permission.


From Glenn Gould

This was the fall, October, when Ohio,

like almost every other part of the country,

is beginning to be mortally beautiful,

the great old hardwoods letting go

their various scarlet, yellow,

and leopard-spotted leaves one by one.


From ORPHAN HOURS © 2012 by Stanley Plumly, published by W.W. Norton & Company. Used with permission.