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Zell Visiting Writers Series pres.

Arthur Sze Roundtable Q&A

Zell Distinguished Poet in Residence

Arthur Sze Arthur Sze
Arthur Sze
Arthur Sze is a poet, translator, and editor who recently won the National Book Award. He has published ten books of poetry, including Sight Lines, Compass Rose, The Ginkgo Light, Quipu, The Redshifting Web: Poems 1970-1998, and Archipelago, all from Copper Canyon Press. He has also published The Silk Dragon: Translations from the Chinese and edited Chinese Writers on Writing. A bilingual Chinese/English selected poems, Pig’s Heaven Inn, was published in Beijing, and he has also collaborated with sculptor Susan York to create a book and installation, The Unfolding Center.

Known for his difficult, meticulous poems, Sze’s work has been described as the “intersection of Taoist contemplation, Zen rock gardens and postmodern experimentation” by the critic John Tritica. The poet Dana Levin described Sze as “a poet of what I would call Deep Noticing, a strong lineage in American poetry… Dispassionate presentation of ‘the thing itself’ is its prevailing attribute, yet Sze’s attention is capacious; it’s attracted to paradox; it takes facing opponents and seats them side by side.” In addition, K. Michel, a Dutch poet writing for Poetry International says, “Sze’s work is characterized by its unusual combination of images and ideas, and by the surprising way in which he makes connections between diverse aspects of the world. In his poetry he combines images from urban life and nature, ideas from modern astronomy and Chinese philosophy as well as anecdotes from rural and industrial America. In this way, he creates texts that capture and reflect the complexity of reality.”

Sze’s many awards include The Jackson Poetry Prize from Poets & Writers, a Lila Wallace-Reader’s Digest Writers’ Award, a Lannan Literary Award, a Guggenheim Fellowship, two National Endowment for the Arts Creative Writing fellowships, a Howard Foundation Fellowship, and five grants from the Witter Bynner Foundation for Poetry. From 2012-2017, he served as a Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets and, in 2017, was elected a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He is a professor emeritus at the Institute of American Indian Arts and lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

This event is free and open to the public.

The Zell Visiting Writers Series brings outstanding writers to campus each semester. The Series is made possible through a generous gift from U-M alumna Helen Zell (BA ’64, LLDHon ’13). For more information, please visit the Zell Visiting Writers Program webpage: https://lsa.umich.edu/writers

For any questions about the event or to share accommodation needs, please email asbates@umich.edu-- we are eager to help ensure that this event is inclusive to you. The building, event space, and restrooms are wheelchair accessible. A lactation room (Angell Hall #5209), reflection room (Haven Hall #1506), and gender-inclusive restroom (Angell Hall 5th floor) are available on site. ASL interpreters and CART services are available upon request; please email asbates@umich.edu at least two weeks prior to the event.

U-M employees with a U-M parking permit may use the Church Street Parking Structure (525 Church St., Ann Arbor) or the Thompson Parking Structure (500 Thompson St., Ann Arbor). There is limited metered street parking on State Street and South University Avenue. The Forest Avenue Public Parking Structure (650 South Forest Ave., Ann Arbor) is five blocks away, and the parking rate is $1.20 per hour. All of these options include parking spots for individuals with disabilities.
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