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The Writing Life

Daytime Talk Series: Two Poets at the Table, with Molly Peacock and Phillis Levin

Thursday, October 20, 2022 - 3:30 PM | Whitridge Room | for members and guests | free of charge | registration required

The Writing Life Daytime Talk Series resumes with Molly Peacock and Phillis Levin presenting Two Poets at the Table: A Dialogue Between Friends Sharing Poems & Food.

Distinguished poets Molly Peacock and Phillis Levin have been sharing meals and sharing drafts of poems for forty-six years. Now Molly Peacock has written a book about their exchanges and ideas about poetry, A Friend Sails in on a Poem. From borscht at the Ukrainian National Home in the 1980s to post-pandemic artichokes at Altessi Restaurant, a New York City friendship in poetry has involved [DO WE MEAN EVOLVED?]. How is it that a beet salad or a lemon poppyseed pancake has created the playing field for the two poets as they read their drafts of poems? How did they meet? How have they lasted? What are the elements of a friendship that tracks aesthetic development?  Peacock looks at signature poems they have written over the years to discover how taste (also etymologically linked to touch) operates in their tender examinations. Levin has written the Afterword to this rich and unique book.  Please join Molly Peacock and Phillis Levin in a dialogue about friendship and poetry.

In addition to A Friend Sails in on a Poem, Molly Peacock's poetry collections include The Analyst: Poems, The Second Blush, and Cornucopia: New and Selected Poems (all from W.W. Norton and Company). Former President of the Poetry Society of America and past Poet-in-Residence at the American Poets’ Corner, she is the co-founder of Poetry in Motion on New York’s subways and buses and the founder of The Best Canadian Poetry. Her poems appear in leading literary journals such as Poetry, The Yale Review, The Malahat Review, The Women’s Review of Books, and Plume and are anthologized in The Oxford Book of American Poetry. Peacock is also a biographer and teaches for the Unterberg Poetry Center at 92NY. Photo by Candice Ferreira

Phillis Levin is the author most recently of Mr. Memory & Other Poems (Penguin Books, 2016), a finalist for the 2016 Los Angeles Times Book Prize. Her other volumes are May Day, Mercury, The Afterimage, and Temples and Fields. She is the editor of The Penguin Book of the Sonnet, and her poems have appeared in AGNI, The Atlantic, The Best American Poetry, Kenyon Review, The Nation, New Republic, The New Yorker, The New York Times Sunday Magazine, The Paris Review, Ploughshare, Plume, PN Review, Poetry, Poetry London, The Poetry Review (UK), The Yale Review, and other magazines and anthologies. A professor of English and poet-in-residence at Hofstra University, Levin has completed a sixth collection and is working on a memoir. Photo by Sigrid Estrada

Library members may register below; nonmember guests may contact the events office at events@nysoclib.org.


The Writing Life events in 2022 are generously underwritten by Jenny Lawrence.


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