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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.

 

 

Did You Know?

For acclaimed UTSA writer, poetry rhymes with life

Robert Penn Warren said: “How do poems grow? They grow out of your life.” That is certainly true for Carmen Tafolla. An associate professor of practice with the UTSA College of Education and Human Development, Tafolla has authored more than 20 acclaimed books of poetry and prose, including "The Holy Tortilla and a Pot of Beans." It won the Tom´s Rivera Children’s Book Award in 2009.

Tafolla is a San Antonio native who grew up on the West Side. Attending a private high school, she realized that the literature did not positively portray her community or the people who lived there. She determined to change that in her writing. In published works for both adults and children — more than 200 anthologies, magazines, journals, textbooks and readers in four languages — Tafolla reflects on the rich Mexican-American culture of San Antonio in which she grew up.

Did you know? Tafolla was San Antonio's first Poet Laureate, from 2012 to 2014, and currently serves as the Poet Laureate of Texas.

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