CELEBRATE NATIONAL POETRY MONTH AT THE BETSY:
HONORING HYAM PLUTZIK CENTENNIAL AND DEBUT OF NEW WRITER’S ROOM WITH FOUR RESIDENT POETS
In April 2012, The Betsy South Beach will debut its brand new Writer’s Room in honor of National Poetry Month, partnering with University of Wynwood to present a month of poetic engagement with Miami Dade County. The University of Wynwood, under the direction of local poet P. Scott Cunningham, has invited four emerging poets to be the first residents at the Writer’s Room in April. The poets—Melissa Broder, Reginald Dwayne Betts, Malachi Black, and Ariana Reines—represent a diverse cross-section of American poetry. Each poet will spend 5-8 days in the Writer’s Room, using the sanctuary to create and revise new work, and will present a public reading and engage with the Miami-Dade community.
Also in April, The Betsy commemorates the Hyam Plutzik Centennial, a year-long celebration of the late poet’s works. Plutzik was the father of Betsy Chairman Jonathan Plutzik and his legacy permeates the hotel, from nightly poems on pillows to poetry bookmarks. A slate of special events, residencies, activities and readings by poets ranging from students to former poet laureate Billy Collins will take place throughout the month as The Betsy engages guests with the power of words.
On Sunday, April 1 the month kicks off with a special event with honored guest Billy Collins, who comes to Miami thanks to support from Miami Dade County and the Knight Foundation. Collins has published eight collections of poetry and was the United States Poet Laureate from 2001 to 2003 and the New York State Poet Laureate from 2004 to 2006. Also that evening, A Wall of Words, The Betsy’s 2nd Broadsides exhibit will open in the hotel’s Underground Gallery, and the first poet takes residence in the Writer’s Room. Every Wednesday evening at 8:15 p.m., during the month of April 2012, the poets in residence will present a free public reading. Resident schedule follows:
Melissa Broder: Sunday, April 1–Sunday, April 8 Reading on Wednesday, April 4. Broder is the author of two collections of poems, When You Say One Thing but Mean Your Mother, and most recently MEAT HEART. Her poems appear or are forthcoming in publications including Guernica, Redivider, The Missouri Review online, Court Green, Drunken Boat, Barrelhouse, The Awl, and others. She edits La Petite Zine. By day she is a publicity manager at Penguin.
Reginald Dwayne Betts: Wednesday, April 11–Sunday, April 15 Reading on Wednesday, April 11. Betts is the author of the memoir, A Question of Freedom (Avery/Penguin 2009) and a collection of poetry, Shahid Reads His Own Palm (Alice James Books, 2010). The winner of a 2010 NAACP Image Award, Betts has been a fellow at Harvard University’s Radcliffe Institute of Advanced Studies. As a national spokesperson for the Campaign for Youth Justice, he writes and lectures about the impact of mass incarceration on American society and is currently completing The Circumference of a Prison, a work of nonfiction about the criminal justice system.
Malachi Black: Tuesday, April 17–Sunday, April 22 Reading on Wednesday, April 18. Black’s work has recently appeared or is forthcoming in Poetry, Boston Review, Harvard Review, Blackbird, Gulf Coast, Columbia, Pleiades, and elsewhere. The recipient of a 2009 Ruth Lilly Fellowship, he has also received recent fellowships and awards from the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, The MacDowell Colony, the University of Texas at Austin’s Michener Center for Writers, and the University of Utah, where he is a Vice Presidential Fellow.
Ariana Reines: Monday, April 23–Monday, April 30 Reading on Wednesday, April 25. Reines is the author of three poetry collections, The Cow (Alberta Prize, FenceBooks: 2006), Coeur de Lion (Mal-O-Mar: 2007; FenceBooks: 2011), MERCURY (FenceBooks: 2011), and the play TELEPHONE, winner of two Obie awards. In 2009 she became the youngest ever Roberta C. Holloway Lecturer in Poetry at University of California Berkeley.
Other events scheduled throughout the month of April include a variety of interactive events including reading with the poets of Arts & Minds High School, Coconut Grove. Fittingly, the month will close as it opened, with an event featuring readings from nationally acclaimed poets — Ecco Press publisher/editor-in-chief and poet Daniel Halpern, MacArthur Genius Grant recipient and Knight Fellow Campbell McGrath, and University of Wynwood director P. Scott Cunningham. For updated information follow Betsy on Facebook and Twitter or check the website at www.thebetsyhotel.com.
About The Betsy
The Betsy South Beach is a boutique hotel located on world renowned Ocean Drive that embraces culture, arts and philanthropy through a wide range of events with ongoing events that reflect the owners’ presented under the auspices of The Betsy South Beach’s Philanthropy, Arts and Culture Program, with a very . special focus on poetry and literatureEach room at the hotel has a small library of poetry and other books, and a poetry bookmark is placed on each guest’s pillow every night. Over the past three years, the hotel has become a catalyst for energized discourse, innovative thinking, and charity, and has worked with over 200 nonprofit partners in the region. The Betsy South Beach is located at 1440 Ocean Drive, Miami Beach. Telephone: 305-760-6902.
About University of Wynwood
Founded in 2008, the UNIVERSITY OF WYNWOOD curates events and projects that advance contemporary literature in Miami, Florida. A registered 501(c)3 non-profit corporation in the state of Florida, UW produces the biennial poetry festival “O, Miami”, an on-going visiting poet series, a literary magazine, and other projects designed to build community through literature. For more, visit http://www.universityofwynwood.org.
About the Hyam Plutzik Centennial
The years 2011-12 mark the centennial of the birth of American poet Hyam Plutzik (1911-1962) and the 50th year of the Plutzik Poetry Series at the University of Rochester (where Plutzik taught literature for 19 years), the longest running series of its kind in the U.S. To commemorate these anniversaries, Wesleyan University has issued a new edition of his poetry collection, Apples from Shinar, which it originally published in 1959. The Hyam Plutzik Centennial Committee is coordinating activities in the United States and abroad, notably in locations where Plutzik lived and worked, including New York City, Connecticut, Rochester, and the United Kingdom. Several poetry events marking April as National Poetry Month will take place at The Betsy Hotel in South Beach which is owned by Plutzik’s son, Jonathan.
Karen Barofsky/Brustman Carrino Public Relations
Join us for a dramatic reading of Hyam Plutzik’s
presented by Nigel Maister
5:00pm Monday, March 26, 2012
Welles-Brown Room, Rush Rhees Library, University of Rochester
free admission ~ open to the public
In this long narrative poem, a finalist for the 1961 Pulitzer Prize in Poetry, Hyam Plutzik explores the life of Horatio after his friend Hamlet’s dying request:
Absent thee from felicity a while,
And in this harsh world draw thy breath in pain
To tell my story. (Shakespeare’s Hamlet, V.ii)
As an old man, Horatio recounts his weary life-long quest to recover and defend his lost friend’s wounded honor and name from corrupting rumor, superstition, and slander. “It is fifty years since the Prince Hamlet died,” begins the poem, before casting off into memory, recounting confrontations with a cast of characters including socialites, philosophers, hill shepherds, and statesmen. But Horatio’s final and greatest challenge is in his encounter with himself as he takes stock of what his life and his quest have become.
Horatio was published in 1961, after years of steady revision by the poet, and was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in Poetry that year. Stanley Kunitz and Louis Untermeyer, the jurors for that year’s prize, called the poem “a fascinating puzzle….primarily a tour de force….ingenious in its kaleidoscopic shifts from melodrama to metaphysics, from straightforward narrative to involved nightmare.” Sections of Horatio had previously been published in magazines and in Plutzik’s second collection, Apples from Shinar, which was reissued in October 2011 from Wesleyan University Press. In his afterword to the new edition, Yale Shakespeare scholar David Scott Kastan called Horatio “one of the genuinely original and important American long poems.”
Hyam Plutzik, born in Brooklyn in 1911, was the author of three collections of poems and a professor at the University of Rochester. He died of cancer January 8, 1962, shortly after Horatio was published, and his colleagues at the U of R have honored his memory ever since: the Plutzik Memorial Poetry Series has brought nearly 300 acclaimed writers to campus for free public readings since 1962.
THE UNIVERSITY OF ROCHESTER ANNOUNCES THE PLUTZIK 50/100 PROJECT
For More information: firstname.lastname@example.org
HONORING THE 50th ANNIVERSARY OF THE PLUTZIK POETRY SERIES & THE 100th BIRTHDAY OF POET HYAM PLUTZIK
The University of Rochester’s Department of English is proud to announce a year-long celebration to honor the 50th Anniversary of the Plutzik Poetry Series and the Centennial of the birth of Hyam Plutzik (1911-1962). Plutzik, a poet and Pulitzer Prize finalist, was Deane Professor of Poetry and Rhetoric at the University until his untimely death in 1962. In the 1930s, Plutzik graduated from Trinity College and pursued graduate studies at Yale University, returning to Yale during the 1954-55 academic year when he received a Ford Foundation Faculty Fellowship to study the relationship between poetry, science, and philosophy.
Readings by prominent American and international poets as well as University faculty will take place during the Plutzik Poetry Series’ 2011-12 season. The Series was inaugurated in his honor in 1962 and is the longest continuously running collegiate reading program in the country. The 50/100 celebration will also include UR-sponsored events in various locations, dubbed Plutzik Series Readings “on the road.” The events will also recognize the fall 2011 publication by Wesleyan University Press of a new edition of Plutzik’s poetry collection, Apples from Shinar, which Wesleyan originally published in 1959.
THE 50th ANNIVERSARY OF THE PLUTZIK POETRY SERIES
At University of Rochester – Award-winning poets scheduled to read in the 50th anniversary series include Yusef Komunyakaa (October 11), Eavan Boland (November 10), and Mark Strand (April 7). They are joined by UR professors and writers James Longenbach, Joanna Scott, Jennifer Grotz, and Stephen Schottenfeld for Meliora Weekend 2011 (Oct 21).
On the Road -Several Plutzik “Readings on the Road” featuring major speakers are in the planning stages, including events in New York City and in Miami. These will be co-sponsored by the UR English Department, the UR Office of Alumni Relations, the Plutzik 50/100 Centennial Committee, and other partners.
Two exhibits will be mounted at the Rush-Rhees Library, where the Hyam Plutzik Library for Contemporary Writing is housed alongside Plutzik’s own literary archives. The exhibits – focusing on Plutzik’s life and work, as well as the accomplishments of the Plutzik Poetry Series – will be curated by a Library-based team led by Richard Peek, Director, and Phyllis Andrews, Manuscript Librarian, Rare Books, Special Collections & Preservation.
The first exhibit, Hyam Plutzik: Poet, will be on display from September 5 to December 31, 2011. Curated by Sergei Kriskov (UR 2012), the main exhibit will focus on Plutzik’s life and work. The exhibit will also include UR Students Read Plutzik, a two-case interpretive display curated by Sarah Young (UR 2013), with responses to Plutzik’s poetry written by ten UR students and alumni, along with broadsides of Plutzik’s poetry.
The second exhibit, curated by Patrick Daubert (Class of 2011), celebrates the 50th anniversary of the Plutzik Poetry Series. This exhibit, highlighting selected works of the nearly 300 authors who have read in the series over the years, will be on display from February 12 to December 31, 2012. Recordings of major poets reading Plutzik’s work will also be featured.
Hyam Plutzik: American Poet, a documentary directed by Oscar-nominated filmmaker Christine Choy and Ku-Ling Siegel, will be screened during Meliora Weekend. The film includes rare archival footage from the University campus, interviews with UR faculty members, both current and retired, and interviews with leading American poets including Donald Hall, Galway Kinnell, and Grace Schulman, and the late Hayden Carruth and Stanley Kunitz. The interview with the 99-year-old Kunitz, conducted shortly before his death, is widely believed to be his last, and features him reading and discussing one of Plutzik’s poems and talking about the importance of poetry.
Continuing a series tradition of interdisciplinary collaboration, the 50/100 celebration will include musical events, on campus and “on the road” to honor Hyam Plutaik, including the premiere of two major new works, one by composer and Dean of the Eastman School Douglas Lowry, and another by Eastman Alumni composer Jeffery Briggs (ESM ’79). Briggs’ work is a setting for orchestra and orator of “Two Poems of Hyam Plutzik.” Lowry’s piece is a setting for soprano of Plutzik’s iconic poem, “On Hearing That My Poems Were Being Studied in a Distant Place.” Award-winning composer Samuel Adler’s work “Canto V,” originally commissioned for the dedication of the Interfaith Chapel at the University of Rochester, will also be performed; it is a setting of material from Plutzik’s book, Apples from Shinar, which will be republished by Wesleyan University Press this fall.
In Spring 2012, a dramatic reading of Hyam Plutzik’s long poem “Horatio” will be presented by Nigel Maister, Artistic Director of the UR International Theatre Program. Based on the life of Horatio, a character in Shakespeare’s Hamlet, the work has not been performed in public since the 1980s, when Nobel Prize winner Joseph Brodsky translated parts of it into Russian and presented it in Moscow. Horatio was published by Atheneum in 1961, which earned Plutzik finalist status for the Pulitzer Prize.
The 50/100 celebratory year will be marked by several publications:
A new edition of Apples from Shinar, a collection originally published in 1959 in Wesleyan’s acclaimed Poetry Series. The Wesleyan Poetry Series was originally edited by former U.S. Poet Laureate Donald Hall. With an Afterword by noted Yale Shakespeare scholar, David Scott Kastan, the book is expected to, in the words of Wesleyan, “bring a new generation to the work of Hyam Plutzik”;
A Centennial Program, which features a history of the Plutzik Poetry Series by Jarold Ramsey, including an overview of the nearly 300 award-winning readers who have visited the University of Rochester since 1962. Ramsey is an accomplished poet who was director of the Plutzik Poetry Series for more than 30 years; he will return to campus as a special series guest in 2011-12.
THE BETSY HOTEL(Miami Beach): Teamed with Books & Books and the University of Wynwood, along with other Miami-based collegiate partners, The Betsy will sponsor a series of literary events in South Beach throughout the 50/100 period including artist residencies, readings, symposia, and salons.
ABOUT THE PLUTZIK POETRY SERIES
Since 1962, the University of Rochester has been celebrating the life and poetic achievements of Hyam Plutzik (1911-1962), critically acclaimed poet and UR faculty member, by bringing the Rochester community readings by the finest contemporary literary artists. The Plutzik Poetry Series is one of the most prestigious and longest-running reading series in the country. Over the years, the Plutzik Poetry Series has featured a vast array of poets and fiction writers, the famous and not-yet famous.
Readers in the Plutzik Poetry Series over the years have included Rita Dove, Ralph Ellison, Allen Ginsberg, John Ashbery, Louise Gluck, and Salman Rushdie, among many others. The full list includes 29 poets who had won, or went on to win, the Pulitzer Prize. Series events have included participation by presenters in a range of arts disciplines. In keeping with Hyam Plutzik’s generosity of spirit and commitment to bringing poetry to the Rochester community, the Plutzik Poetry Series readings have always been open to the public and offered free of charge.
ABOUT HYAM PLUTZIK
As a teacher, Plutzik created a solid place for poetry in the English Department at the University of Rochester and in Upstate New York, where he remained all his professional life. He taught poetry workshops and gave weekly poetry readings, composing poems for special occasions. After 19 years of service, upon his death in 1962, the University of Rochester established the Plutzik Poetry Series. In 1999, the Plutzik Library for Contemporary Writing was dedicated, and in 2004, Plutzik was recognized in a campus publication as one of the most outstanding teachers in the University’s history.
Throughout his career, Plutzik published poems in journals and magazines such as Poetry, Yale Review, Antioch Review, Kenyon Review, Sewanee Review, Prairie Schooner, Accent, and The Nation. In 1950, he received for Aspects of Proteus one of six awards given by the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters. In 1951, he shared the California Borestone Mountain Poetry Award with Rolfe Humphries, and in 1959, received the University of Rochester’s Lillian P. Fairchild Award for Apples from Shinar. In 1954, Plutzik received a Ford Foundation Faculty Fellowship to explore the relationship between poetry, science, and philosophy. Important themes throughout Plutzik’s writings include poetry and science as modes of expression, the paradoxes of historical time and eternity, and questions of Jewish identity. He also translated and wrote prayers used in Jewish liturgies. In 1961, shortly before his death, Atheneum published Horatio, which was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize.
For more information about Plutzik 50/100 Centennial events, or about the Plutzik Poetry Series: http://www.rochester.edu/college/eng/plutzik/index.html or www.Hyamplutzikpoetry.com