Whitworth Communications

For Immediate Release

February 5, 2008

Noted Poet Tony Hoagland to Present Feb. 22 Simpson-Duvall Reading at Whitworth University

Hoagland's poems "…sprint across the page and unexpectedly blow apart a single moment, exposing its contradictory nature, and, often, our folly."

Whitworth is honored to present the 2008 Simpson-Duvall Lectureship featuring award-winning poet Tony Hoagland, who will read from his works on Friday, Feb. 22, at 7:30 p.m. in the Robinson Teaching Theatre in Weyerhaeuser Hall. Admission is free. For more information, please call (509) 777-3253.

Hoagland, born in Fort Bragg, N.C., in 1953, attended Williams College, the University of Iowa, and the University of Arizona. His published works include A Change in Plans (1985); Talking to Stay Warm (1986); History of Desire (1990); Sweet Ruin (1992), for which he received the Brittingham Prize in Poetry; Donkey Gospel (1998), winner of the James Laughlin Award of the Academy of American Poets; What Narcissism Means to Me (2003), a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award; and Hard Rain (2005). Hoagland is also the author of a collection of essays about poetry, Real Sofistakashun. His books and his critical essays have appeared widely in journals and anthologies such as American Poetry Review, Harvard Review, and Ploughshares.

Hoagland currently teaches in the poetry program at the University of Houston. He has been the recipient of a number of awards, including two grants from the National Endowment for the Arts and a fellowship to the Provincetown Fine Arts Work Center. In 2006, the Folger Shakespeare Library awarded him the O.B. Hardison, Jr., Prize, the only national honor that recognizes a poet's teaching as well as his art. Hoagland is also the recipient of The Poetry Foundation's 2005 Mark Twain Award, given in recognition of a writer's contribution to humor in American poetry.

"There is nothing escapist or diversionary about Tony Hoagland's poetry," says Stephen Young, of the Poetry Foundation. "Here's misery, death, envy, hypocrisy, and vanity. But the still sad music of humanity is played with such a light touch on an instrument so sympathetically tuned that one can't help but laugh. Wit and morality rarely consort these days; it's good to see them happily, often hilariously reunited in [Hoagland's] poetry." 

According to his online biography, Hoagland explores the "spiritual [emptiness] of American satisfaction, creating poetry that is scathing, funny, rich, and refreshingly intelligent." In a Ploughshares review, poet Steven Cramer writes that Hoagland's poems, "grapple with selfhood and manhood, but they also consider the mysteries of the national identity – how the social and the personal mutually impinge." For more information on Tony Hoagland, please visit www.blueflowerarts.com/thoagland.html.

The Simpson-Duvall Lectureship honors two of Whitworth's most distinguished professors: Clarence Simpson, professor of English from 1953-1980, and R. Fenton Duvall, professor of history from 1949-1981. The annual lectureship is held in appreciation for these two men's years of commitment and contributions to Whitworth; it continues, in their spirit, to enrich the university and Spokane communities.

Located in Spokane, Wash., Whitworth is a private liberal arts university affiliated with the Presbyterian Church (USA). The university, which has an enrollment of more than 2,600 students, offers 53 undergraduate and graduate degree programs.



Doug Sugano, professor of English, Whitworth University, (509) 777-4212 or dsugano@whitworth.edu.

Lisa Sem-Rodrigues, program assistant, English department, Whitworth University, (509) 777-3253 or lrodrigues@whitworth.edu.

Julie Riddle, public information officer, Whitworth University, (509) 777-3729 orjriddle@whitworth.edu.

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