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10/20/92

CONTACT: Stanford University News Service (415) 723-2558

Poet Joseph Brodsky to be at Stanford Oct. 26- 30

STANFORD -- Poet Joseph Brodsky, winner of the 1987 Nobel Prize in literature, will be in residence at the Stanford Humanities Center Oct. 26-30. During that time, he will give a lecture and two poetry readings, and lead a discussion, all open to the public.

Brodsky, who was born in 1940 in Leningrad, was exiled from his native Russia in 1972, and soon thereafter came to the United States. In May 1991, he was appointed the fifth United States Poet Laureate.

In awarding the Nobel Prize to Brodsky, the Swedish academy cited him "for an all-embracing authorship imbued with clarity of thought and poetic intensity."

Brodsky will read his poetry at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 29, in Annenberg Auditorium, Cummings Art Building. He will read and discuss the works of W.H. Auden, Robert Frost and Thomas Hardy from 3:15 to 5 p.m. Monday, Oct. 26, in the Humanities Center Annex, Alvarado Row and Campus Drive East.

In addition, he will give a lecture titled "A Profile of Clio: Reflections on History" at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 27, in Annenberg Auditorium, and will hold an "open conversation" from 3 to 5 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 28, in the Humanities Center Annex.

Brodsky is Andrew Mellon Professor of Literature at Mount Holyoke College. He has been poet in residence at the University of Michigan and visiting professor at a number of colleges and universities.

Joseph Brodsky: Selected Poems, translated by George L. Kline and with a foreword by Auden, was published in London in 1973 and in New York the next year. Brodsky is also the author of two additional books of poetry: A Part of Speech, published in 1980, and To Urania (1988), as well as a play, Marbles (1989). Less Than One, his volume of essays published in 1986, won the National Book Critics Award for Criticism. His most recent work is Watermark, a book-length essay on the city of Venice, published in 1992.

Brodsky began writing poetry at the age of 18. He was soon recognized as, in the words of poet Anna Akhmatova, "the most gifted lyric voice of his generation."

In March 1964, Brodsky was sentenced to five years in exile in the Arkhangelsk region of northern Russia. However, his sentence was commuted two years later because of internal and international protests. In June 1972, Brodsky became an involuntary exile from his native country. After brief stays in Vienna and London, he came to the United States.

Brodsky will be the first Elliott and Rhoda Levinthal Distinguished Visitor at the Humanities Center. Elliott Levinthal, professor emeritus of mechanical engineering, and his wife gave an endowment to the center to be used to bring figures of intellectual distinction to Stanford.

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