The winner of the 2012 Yale Series of Younger Poets will read from his debut collection of poetry at the Nyack Library on June 18.
Will Schutt, whose poems and translations have been published in Agni, FIELD, The New Republic, and The Southern Review, will be at the library to read from Westerly, his new book, Westerly, at 7p in the Community Meeting Room on the Lower Level of the library. There will be a reception with the poet following the reading.
Schutt’s poems probe a vast emotional geography, and he expands their scope with elegant translations of works by some of Italy’s most prominent twentieth- century poets. Yale Series of Younger Poets contest judge Carl Phillips calls Schutt’s debut volume “a book of uncommon wisdom,” and he finds in the poems “not only beauty, but a persuasive insight into what I call the lived life, the one that risks knowing what’s difficult, despite the sorrow that so often follows the knowing.”A graduate of Oberlin College and Hollins University, Schutt is the recipient of fellowships from the James Merrill House and the Stadler Center for Poetry. He currently lives with his wife in Wainscott, New York.
The Yale Series of Younger Poets prize has been celebrating the most prominent new American poets since 1919 by bringing the work of these artists to the attention of the larger public. Earlier winners of the prize include such talents as Adrienne Rich, John Ashbery, and Robert Hass. It is the longest-running poetry prize in the United States.
We Didn’t Start the Fire
by Will Schutt (via Poetry Daily)
Two doors down lived a descendant of de Sade. He rode a vintage Trek in a gingham shirt. A blue Hamsa strung around his neck waved when he waved. The name meant nearly nil to us, cluelessly humming the catalog of history in "We Didn't Start the Fire"— Harry Truman, Ho Chi Minh, Rockefeller, Roy Cohn. Hunting arrowheads, we made off with a haul of tangled wires, nickeled tubs. Some inheritance. Children of thalidomide, hypodermics on the shore. Between the cemetery and schoolhouse rows of thuja formed a buffer. Most headstones looked as if an animal had rubbed his back up and down against them. Most hurricanes amounted to little more than steady drizzle. Townies spray-painted the bridge: "Sayonara, Bob" or "Safe travels, Sucker." At sunset summer people walked their drinks down to the beach—the happy human chain— each tethered to one spot, each for now alive.
- Will Schutt Named 2012 Winner of the Yale Series of Younger Poets, Yale Press Log 3/8/2012