Pulitzer Prize-winning poet to speak at 2011 Literary Awards

April 1, 2011

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Charles Simic will speak April 21 at Purdue University as part of the 80th annual Literary Awards celebration.

Charles Simic

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Simic, a professor emeritus of the University of New Hampshire, will present a reading at 8 p.m. in Stewart Center's Fowler Hall. The reading, which is free and open to the public, is sponsored by the Department of English and Purdue Libraries.

Simic has been a recipient of a MacArthur Fellowship, commonly known as the "genius grant," won two PEN awards for his work as a translator, was elected a chancellor of the Academy of American Poets in 2000, was awarded the International Griffin Poetry Prize in 2005, was appointed the 15th U.S. Poet Laureate in 2007, and was honored with the 2007 Wallace Stevens Awards from the Academy of American Poets. His book "The World Doesn't End" received the Pulitzer Prize for poetry in 1991.

Prior to Simic's reading, Literary Awards recipients will be honored at 5:30 p.m. during a banquet in the Purdue Memorial Union's North Ballroom. The event features 82 awards, totaling more than $11,000 in prize money, for Indiana high school students and Purdue undergraduate and graduate students.

Simic also will speak at the banquet about the creative process. Banquet tickets are $17 for students and $25 for adults and can be purchased in Heavilon Hall, Room 324, or by directing inquiries to the Purdue English Department at jhenders@purdue.edu.

Tickets include a pre-dinner reception, banquet dinner, awards ceremony and reserved seating for Simic's reading in Fowler Hall. The pre-dinner reception is 4:30-5:15 p.m. in the Purdue Memorial Union's Anniversary Drawing Room.

Writer: Amanda Sliepka, 765-496-3006, asliepka@purdue.edu

Source: Donald Platt, chair of the 2011 Literary Awards Committee and professor in the Department of English, 765-494-3727, plattd@purdue.edu