Contact: Jenni Smith
SMU News & Media Relations
(214) 768-7650


Feb. 11, 2002


DALLAS (SMU) -- Southern Methodist University's Literary Festival will feature former U.S. poet laureate Mark Strand, who will read selections of his poetry at 8 p.m. Friday, Feb. 15, in the Meadows Museum Auditorium, 5900 Bishop Blvd. The event is free and open to the public.

A reception will follow in the Owen Arts Center Atrium, 6101 Bishop Blvd., where Strand will sign his new book, Story of Our Lives: the Monument in the Late Hour, to be released Feb. 26.

Born on Canada's Prince Edward Island in 1934 and raised and educated in the United States and South America, Strand is the author of 10 books of poems, including the Pulitzer Prize-winning Blizzard of One (Alfred A. Knopf, 1998). His other works include Dark Harbor (1993), The Continuous Life (1990), Selected Poems (1980), The Story of Our Lives (1973), and Reasons for Moving (1968). He also has published two books of prose, several volumes of translations (of works by Rafael Alberti and Carlos Drummond de Andrade, among others), several monographs on contemporary artists and three books for children.

He has edited a number of volumes, including The Golden Ecco Anthology (1994), The Best American Poetry 1991, and Another Republic: 17 European and South American Writers (with Charles Simic, 1976).

His honors include the Bollingen Prize, three grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, a National Institute of Arts and Letters Award, the Edgar Allen Poe Prize and a Rockefeller Foundation award, as well as fellowships from The Academy of American Poets, the MacArthur Foundation and the Ingram Merrill Foundation.

He was Poet Laureate of the United States in 1990 and is a former Chancellor of The Academy of American Poets. He currently teaches in the Committee on Social Thought at the University of Chicago.

SMU's LitFest has been an annual celebration of writing for the past 26 years. This year, it has undergone a change in format from the past, featuring one author per month, instead of several authors all presenting their work during one week of literary events.

Past writers who have participated in SMU's LitFest include John Updike, Joyce Carol Oates, Alice Walker, Norman Mailer and Robert Pinsky. The SMU LitFest is one of the oldest student-run literary events in the country and gives the community a unique opportunity to interact with major literary figures.

For more information, visit the Web page at, call student LitFest chair Alison Harper at (214) 768-4466, or send an e-mail to