Arts Society & Culture

Father, son duo to kick off 2011-2012 Georgia Poetry Circuit

Athens, Ga. – The first of three Georgia Poetry Circuit events for the 2011-12 academic year will begin with father and son duo Willis and Tony Barnstone on Nov. 9 at 7 p.m. Presented by The Georgia Review, a quarterly publication at the University of Georgia, the reading will take place at Ciné on 234 West Hancock Avenue and is free and open to the public.

Willis Barnstone taught in Greece from 1949 to 1951 at the end of its civil war and then in Buenos Aires during the Dirty War. His academic travels didn’t end there. He went to China in 1972 during the Cultural Revolution and later returned as a Fulbright professor at Beijing Foreign Studies University from 1984 to 1985.

A former O’Connor professor of Greek at Colgate University, the senior Barnstone is a Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Comparative Literature at Indiana University. His publications include Poems of Exchange (1951); Modern European Poetry (1967); The Other Bible (1984); Poetics of Translation: History, Theory, Practice (1993); Funny Ways of Staying Alive (1993); The Secret Reader: 501 Sonnets (1996); With Borges on an Ordinary Evening in Buenos Aires (1993); Algebra of Night: Selected Poems 1948-1998 (1999); The Apocalypse (2000) and Border of a Dream: Poems of Antonio Machado (2003).

His work on early Christian texts, including The Gnostic Bible (2003) and The New Covenant: The Four Gospels and Apocalypse (2002), are regarded as classics in the field. A Guggenheim fellow, he has been the recipient of many awards and three Pulitzer Prize nominations. His work has appeared in many magazines including APR, DoubleTake, Harper’s, New York Review of Books, Paris Review, Poetry, The New Yorker and The Times Literary Supplement.

Tony Barnstone is the Albert Upton Professor of English at Whittier College. He served as a visiting distinguished professor in creative writing at Bowling Green State University and as a visiting professor of translation in the doctoral program at the University of California, Irvine. His books of poetry include Tongue of War: From Pearl Harbor to Nagasaki (2009), which was winner of the John Ciardi Prize in poetry and the Poets’ Prize; The Golem of Los Angeles (2008), which won the Benjamin Saltman Award in poetry; Sad Jazz: Sonnets (2005); Impure (1998) and chapbook Naked Magic (2002).

A translator of Chinese poetry and literary prose, the junior Barnstone’s books in this area include Chinese Erotic Poetry (2007); The Anchor Book of Chinese Poetry (2005); Out of the Howling Storm: The New Chinese Poetry (1993); Laughing Lost in the Mountains: Poems of Wang Wei (1991) and The Art of Writing: Teachings of the Chinese Masters (1996). Among his awards are the grand prize of the Strokestown International Poetry Festival, a Pushcart Prize in poetry and fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the California Arts Council.

Books by both Barnstones will be available for sale courtesy of Byhalia Books.

The second and third Georgia Poetry Circuit readings will feature Todd Boss on Feb. 1 and Dave Smith on April 2. For more information about the poetry circuit, call 706/542-3481.