UW News

May 15, 2008

Poets Mary Jo Salter and Brad Leithauser to present 45th annual Theodore Roethke reading May 20

Poets and essayists Mary Jo Salter and Brad Leithauser, who are husband and wife, will present the 45th annual Theodore Roethke Memorial Poetry Reading, at 8 p.m. Tuesday, May 20, in 130 Kane. Admission is free.

Mary Jo Salter is the author of five collections of poems: Henry Purcell in Japan (1985), Unfinished Painting (the 1989 Lamont Selection for the year’s most distinguished second volume of poetry), Sunday Skaters (nominated in 1994 for the National Book Critics Circle Award), A Kiss in Space (1999), and Open Shutters (2003, a New York Times Notable Book of the Year), as well as a children’s book, The Moon Comes Home (1989). Her first play, Falling Bodies, premiered at Mount Holyoke in 2004. Salter is a coeditor of The Norton Anthology of Poetry and a lyricist who has worked with composers Allen Bonde and Fred Hersch.

She is also an essayist and reviewer for such publications as The New York Times Book Review and The Yale Review. She has received many awards, including NEA and Guggenheim fellowships. She is on the board of the Amy Clampitt Fund, the Bogliasco Foundation, and The Kenyon Review, and has been vice president of the Poetry Society of America since 1995.

Brad Leithauser is a distinguished poet, essayist, journalist and novelist. His most recent novel, Darlington’s Fall: A Novel in Verse, earned praise from W. S. Merwin and John Updike, who called it “an amazing merger of art and science, verse and narrative. Not since Nabokov has the miracle of consciousness been celebrated with such erudite passion, such lofty wit.” The New York Times Book Review included Darlington’s Fall in its list of notable books for 2002.

Leithauser’s most recent book of poetry was Lettered Creatures. The book is actually the work of Leithauser and his brother Mark. Brad supplied the book’s 28 light verse animal portraits and Mark its 28 pencil drawings.

In addition to several novels and collections of poems, Leithauser has written a collection of essays, Penchants and Places, and served as editor of The Norton Book of Ghost Stories. He has received many awards for his writing, among them MacArthur and Guggenheim fellowships.

For more information about this year’s poets and a history of the Roethke Memorial Poetry Readings, visit the English Department online at http://depts.washington.edu/engl/.