The Voices of Women in American Poetry | Los Angeles Public Library
Print this page

The Voices of Women in American Poetry

Marilyn Chin, Toi Derricotte, and Percival Everett
Moderated by Alice Quinn, Executive Director, Poetry Society of America
Thursday, April 24, 2014
Episode Summary

The Poetry of America’s 2014 national series The Voice of Women in American Poetry celebrates an enormous literary heritage. Distinguished contemporary poets—both male and female—will gather in five cities around the country to pay tribute to the immense achievement of a wide range of poets, from Phyllis Wheatley and Anne Bradstreet to Adrienne Rich and Lucille Clifton.  In Los Angeles, join poets Marilyn Chin on Ai, Toi Derricotte on Anne Sexton and Percival Everett on Gertrude Stein.


Participant(s) Bio

Marilyn Chin teaches at San Diego State University and is on the mentor faculty of City University of Hong Kong.  She has won numerous awards for her poetry, including the United Artist Foundation Fellowship, the Radcliffe Institute Fellowship at Harvard, the Rockefeller Foundation Fellowship at Bellagio and the PEN/Josephine Miles Award. She is featured in a variety of anthologies, including The Norton Anthology of Literature by Women and The Norton Anthology of Modern and Contemporary Poetry. In addition to writing poetry and tales, she has translated poems by the modern Chinese poet Ai Qing and co-translated poems by the Japanese poet Gozo Yoshimasu.

Toi Derricotte has published five collections of poetry, most recently, The Undertaker's Daughter. Her literary memoir, The Black Notebooks, won the 1998 Anisfield-Wolf Book Award for Non-Fiction and was a New York Times Notable Book of the Year. Among her many honors are the 2012 Paterson Poetry Prize for Sustained Literary Achievement and the 2012 PEN/Voelcker Award for Poetry for a poet whose distinguished and growing body of work represents a notable presence in American literature. With Cornelius Eady, she co-founded Cave Canem Foundation. She is Professor Emerita at the University of Pittsburgh and serves on the Academy of American Poets' Board of Chancellors.

Percival Everett is the author of twenty-five books.  Among them are Erasure, Glyph, I Am Not Sidney Poitier and Wounded, all from Graywolf Press.  His most recent volume of poetry is Swimming Swimmers Swimming, published by Red Hen Press. He is a Distinguished Professor of English at the University of Southern California.

Alice Quinn is Executive Director of the Poetry Society of America and an adjunct professor at Columbia University's graduate School of the Arts. She was poetry editor at The New Yorker from 1987-2007 and at Alfred A. Knopf from 1976-1986. She is the editor of Edgar Allan Poe & The Juke-Box: Uncollected Poems, Drafts, and Fragments by Elizabeth Bishop. Her articles on and interviews with writers, poets, and artists have appeared in Artforum, the Canadian National Post, The Forward, Poetry Ireland, The New Yorker, and The New Yorker Online. She is currently editing the journals and notebooks of Elizabeth Bishop.