If Henri Cole is ever making an appearance in your neighborhood, go: his reading is really a kind of singing, in a reedy, drifting, ethereal voice.
The HKU Faculty of Arts is proud to present the internationally renowned poet Henri Cole at two back-to-back major events the week of November 18th. Save some space on your calendar Tuesday and Wednesday evenings that week, and check back with us shortly.
Come to hear and meet Henri Cole: “a poet with few peers,” according to one of our generation’s major forces in literature, Harold Bloom.
Henri Cole was born in Fukuoka, Japan and raised in Virginia. “I grew up in a household where another language besides English was spoken, so I grew up kind of fascinated with languages,” he writes. He received his B.A. from the College of William and Mary, his M.A. from the University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee, and his M.F.A. from Columbia University. Cole’s awards and honors include the Berlin Prize of the American Academy in Berlin, the Rome Prize in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and the Amy Lowell Poetry Traveling Scholarship. He is the recipient of fellowships from the Camargo Foundation in Cassis, France, the Ingram Merrill Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Arts.
His volumes of poetry include: Blackbird and Wolf (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2007), the 2008 recipient of the Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize; Middle Earth (2003), which received the 2004 Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award; The Visible Man (1998); The Look of Things (1995); The Zoo Wheel of Knowledge (1989); and The Marble Queen (1986). His most recent book, Touch, received the Jackson Poetry Prize.
From 1982 until 1988 Cole was executive director of The Academy of American Poets. Since then he has held many teaching positions and has been the artist-in-residence at various institutions, including Smith College, Reed College, Brandeis, Columbia, Harvard, and Yale Universities. He currently teaches at Ohio State University and lives in Boston, Massachusetts.
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I loved the poppies, with their wide-open faces,
how they carried themselves, beckoning to me
instead of pushing away. The way in and the way out
are the same, essentially…
It was as if I could dream what I wanted,
and what I wanted was to long for nothing—
no facts, no reasons—never to say again,
“I want to be like him,” and to lie instead
in the hollow deep grass—without esteem or riches—
gazing into the big, lacquer black eyes of a deer.
from Green Shade