10th Annual Literary Festival at ODU: October 4-8, 1987


Galway Kinnell, 10th Annual ODU Literary Festival


Galway Kinnell

Document Type

Featured Participant

Festival Date



Mills Godwin Life Sciences Auditorium

Author/Artist Bio

Galway Kinnell is a major force in contemporary poetry, in America and in the world. His work has earned awards from the Rockefeller and Guggenheim foundations, and from the National Institute of Arts and Letters. In 1982, he won the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry. He was a Fulbright Fellow in Paris and a field worker for the Congress for Racial Equality. Kinnell's early works were traditionally formal and informed by a Christian sensibility. While retaining an essentially religious and sacramental dimension, his later work was become what he calls "a struggle against the desire for heaven" as well as a movement away from contempt, safe poems and toward a work in which "there is a chance of finding that great thing you might be after, of finding glory." Kinnell confronts the fundamental project of technology - the dehumanizing brought on by the constant threat of extinction. His poems accept death as part of the rhythm that produces life, but they assert that the transformation is at once purely obliterating and fully personal. Kinnell says that for each of us, as we go up in flames, our own work is to open ourselves, to be the flames. His is a poetry of primal experience and myth, the most elemental kind of prayer, a "paradigm of what people might wish to say in addressing the cosmos."

Booklist: Poetry: What a Kingdom It Was; Flower Herding on Mount Monadnock; Body Rags; First Poems: 1946-54; The Book of Nightmares; The Shoes of Wandering; The Avenue Bearing the Initial of Christ into the New World: Poems 1946-64; Three Poems; Mortal Acts, Mortal Words; Selected Poems; The Past. Translations: Bitter Victory (Rene Hardy); The Poems of Francois Villon; On the Motion and Immobility of Douve (Yves Bonnefoy); Lakawanna Elegy (Yvan Goll). Fiction: Black Light. Interviews: Walking Down Stairs.


Kinnell was the featured reader at the Literary Festival Preview Fundraiser on Tuesday, September 29, 1987 at 8:00 p.m.


No video available.

This document is currently not available here.