UTSA presents poet-novelist Jay Parini in Brackenridge lecture series Feb. 1-3

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Jay Parini

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(Jan. 25, 2012) -- The UTSA Department of English will present renowned novelist and poet Jay Parini for the 25th annual Brackenridge Distinguished Visiting Lecture Series on the UTSA Main Campus. The three events are free and open to the public.

>> Parini's first lecture, "The Books That Changed America," is 7 p.m., Wednesday, Feb. 1 in the Business Building University Room (2.06.04).

>> From 3 to 5:30 p.m., Thursday, Feb. 2 in the University Center Retama Auditorium (2.02.02), the series will feature a screening and discussion of the 2009 film "The Last Station" starring Christopher Plummer and Helen Mirren. Based on Parini's novel of the same name, the film captures the final year in the life of Leo Tolstoy.

>> The final lecture of the series, "Why Poetry Matters," is 2 p.m., Friday, Feb. 3 in the Business Building University Room (2.06.04).

A regular contributor to journals and newspapers, Parini's articles have appeared in the New York Times, Chronicle of Higher Education and The Guardian in the U.K. He edits "The Oxford Encyclopedia of American Literature" and co-founded the New England Review.

In 1995, he was appointed literary executor for author Gore Vidal. Author or editor of more than 40 books, Parini has written biographies of William Faulkner, Robert Frost and John Steinbeck. His books include "Promised Land: Thirteen Books That Changed America," "The Art of Subtraction: New and Selected Poems" and "The Art of Teaching." He fictionalized the lives of Herman Melville in "The Passages of H.M." in 2010 and Walter Benjamin in "Benjamin's Crossing" in 1996.

Currently serving as the D.E. Axinn Professor of English at Middlebury College, Parini taught at Dartmouth College and Oxford University. He received his doctoral degree in English from the University of St. Andrews in Scotland (1975) and a bachelor's degree in English from Lafayette College in Pennsylvania.

Inaugurated in 1987, the UTSA Brackenridge Distinguished Visiting Lecture Series is supported by the George W. Brackenridge Foundation, the UTSA College of Liberal and Fine Arts, and the UTSA Department of English. Through the generous support of the foundation, UTSA has invited distinguished scholars in literature and the humanities to engage members of the campus community and San Antonio in public lectures, classroom visits and faculty symposia as part of weeklong residencies.