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James Merrill Symposium

LocationMain Library Class of 1951 Reading Room (Second Floor)

The James Merrill Symposium marks the 25th anniversary of the death of one of the great American poets of the 20th century. Merrill garnered nearly every award available, including the Pulitzer Prize, the National Book Award (twice), the National Book Critics Circle Award, and the Bollingen Prize. In addition to fifteen volumes of poems, he published three novels, four dramatic works, and two collections of prose. He was close to both Elizabeth Bishop and Mary McCarthy, and Vassar possesses a rare compendium of his works, the Bannon McHenry-James Merrill Collection. A remarkable group of poets, critics, and other speakers will be on hand for the symposium, including Moira Egan (Queens College, and St. Stephen’s School, Rome), Rachel Hadas (Rutgers University), Langdon Hammer (Yale University), Joel Minor (Washington University), Luke Ives Pontifell (Thornwillow Press), Mary Jo Salter (Johns Hopkins Writing Seminars), and Willard Spiegelman (Southern Methodist University), Paul Kane (Vassar), and Ronald Patkus (Vassar). In addition to presentations from the speakers, there will be an opening reception, a luncheon, and a poetry reading.