Hendrix College News

An Evening with Murphy Visiting Poets Ilya Kaminsky & Katie Farris

Conway Institute of Music

CONWAY, Ark. (March 1, 2023)- Hendrix-Murphy Foundation’s Visiting Poets Ilya Kaminsky and Katie Farris will read and discuss their work on Tuesday, March 28, at 7:30 p.m. in Reves Recital Hall on Hendrix College campus. A reception and book signing in Trieschmann Gallery will follow, and WordsWorth Books of Little Rock will sell select titles of Kaminsky and Farris’ work. American Sign Language interpreting services will be provided by Communication Plus+. This event is free, open to the public, and no tickets or reservations are required.

Kaminsky is the author of the acclaimed book of poetry Deaf Republic, which won the National Jewish Book Award for Poetry and was a finalist for the National Book Award and the National Book Critics Circle Award. His other work includes Musica Humana and Dancing in Odessa. He is also the editor of and translator for several anthologies, including one which was praised by Pulitzer Prize–winning poet John Ashbery as “immediately indispensable” to the world of poetic translation. In 2019 the BBC recognized Kaminsky as “one of the 12 artists that changed the world.”

Kaminsky was born in Odessa, Ukraine, former Soviet Union. He arrived to the United States in 1993, when his family was granted asylum by the American government. In an interview with the Poetry Society of America, Kaminsky said, regarding the intersection of his poetry with political discourse, “Poetry is the art of Language…But poetry is also the art of Attentiveness. Attentiveness, [Romanian poet Paul] Celan teaches us, is the natural prayer of the human soul. I don’t think there is much poetry of attentiveness that is not political.”

Katie Farris is the author of the forthcoming book of poetry Standing in the Forest of Being Alive, on sale April 4, 2023. WordsWorth books will sell advance copies of the book at the public reading on March 28. Advance readers have showered the book with praise, dubbing the book “luminous” and lauding Farris’ work as “real genius.” Farris is also the author of the Chad Walsh Poetry Award–winning chapbook, A Net to Catch my Body in its Weaving and the hybrid form text boysgirls. She has won awards for her translations of poetry from Chinese, French, and Russian.

In an interview with the Kenyon Review, Farris professed her love for hybridity and liminality in writing, saying “I have always loved the words “liminal” and “limn” and “lintel” and “threshold”; they are magical words. Hybrid-form works stand on thresholds, refusing definition and creating themselves out of necessity…The impossible becomes possible with hybrid forms.”

While at Hendrix, Kaminsky and Farris will visit two creative writing classes, host a conversation on the craft of writing, and give a public reading of their work.

This event is sponsored by the Hendrix-Murphy Foundation Programs in Literature and Language, which are designed to enhance and enrich the study and teaching of literature and language at Hendrix College. For more information about this and future events, please contact Julia Lee McGill at McGill@hendrix.edu.

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