March 22, 93

Vol. 08 , No. 08   


View Entire Issue (Vol. 08 , No. 08)


A Voice in Exile
JOSEPH BRODSKY
MONDAY, MARCH 22, 1993 12:15 p.m.

One of the most intense and controversial poets of the 20th century, Joseph Brodsky, Nobel Laureate (1987) and former Poet Laureate of the United States (1991-1992), came to this country as an exile from the Soviet Union. Lyrical and passionate, his poems rise out of suffering and loss: "I was raised by the cold that, to warm my palm, I gathered my fingers around a pen." Exile as metaphor for the condition of post-modern man pervades his work.

Arrested at 24 for "social parasitism," Brodsky served 20 months of hard labor in Arkhangelsk, a northern region of Russia. He was forced into exile eight years later, and went to Vienna, then to the U.S. The scars from his arrest and exile are visible in his poems, rich with concrete images of his painful past. He continues to write in his native Russian, although he often translates his own work into English.

Poet, essayist, and teacher, Brodsky's work includes Selected Poems (1973), A Part of Speech (1981), and To Urania (1992), as well as the widely acclaimed collection of essays Less Than One: Selected Essays (1986). He has taught at Columbia University, New York University, Amherst College, and Mount Holyoke, where he is currently Andrew Mellon Professor of the Humanities.

Please join us for this literary luncheon. Lunch is served at 11:45 a.m. Mr. Brodsky speaks at 12:15.