Is poetry good for the American Public? Our national humanities and arts organizations (the NEA and the NEH), the Library of Congress, and the Chicago-based Poetry Foundation all seem to think so. The Metropolitan Transit Authority seems to think so. The New York Public Library seems to think so. In fact, most people seem to think so. Most of those organizations and people also think that the American public does not read much poetry. How do those two ideas about poetry work together? Is it possible that thinking that poetry is good for the collective and thinking that we do not feel collectively addressed by poetry are two sides of the same idea of what poetry (and what a public) is or should be?
The English Department hosts the 2016 Joseph M. Duffy Lecture, featuring Virginia Jackson, Endowed Chair in Rhetoric in the Department of English and Comparative Literature at the University of California, Irvine.
A reception will follow.