Leading U.S. poetry critic Helen Vendler to speak at Vanderbilt

– Recently recognized by The New York Times as the “leading poetry critic in


,” Helen Vendler will speak Thursday, Jan. 18, at the Flynn Auditorium at the Vanderbilt University Law School.

“Through her many wonderful books, lectures and reviews, Helen Vendler leads us first to understand and then to love the great poems and poets of the English language,” said National Endowment for the Humanities Chairman Bruce Cole, when Vendler delivered the 2004 Jefferson Lecture in the Humanities, the highest honor the federal government bestows for distinguished intellectual achievement in the humanities. “Her vast learning, beautiful prose and analytical powers bring the power and magic of the written word to life and into our lives.”

In delivering the 2007 Harry C. Howard Jr. Lecture, Vendler will discuss the poetry of William Butler Yeats in an address titled “The Yeatsian Sequence: ‘Nineteen Hundred and Nineteen‘ and ‘Blood and the Moon.‘”

Vendler is the Kingsley Porter University Professor at
and has written about contemporary poetry for The
, the New York Times Book Review, the New Yorker
and the


Review of Books.

She has served as the president of the Modern Language Association and vice president of the


of Arts and Sciences, and she has been a member of the board for the Pulitzer Prizes.

The event will begin at 4:10 p.m., and is free and open to the public. It is sponsored by the


for the Humanities at Vanderbilt, which promotes interdisciplinary research and study in the humanities, social sciences and natural sciences.

The Harry C. Howard Jr. Lecture Series brings an outstanding scholar to Vanderbilt each year to deliver a lecture on a significant topic in the humanities. It was established through the endowment of Mr. and Mrs. Thomas E. Nash Jr., and Mr. and Mrs. George D. Renfro, all of


Audio of the lecture will be available from VUCast, Vanderbilt‘s news network, www.vanderbilt.edu/news.

Media Contact: Melissa Pankake, (615) 322-NEWS

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