Yale Hillel to Host Prize-winning Poets at Symposium

Robert Pinsky, poet laureate of the United States; Yehuda Amichai, Israeli poet; and John Hollander, poet and the Sterling Professor of English at Yale University, will join together for a public symposium, "Poetic Responsibilities," Monday, Oct. 6, at 4 p.m. in Battell Chapel, corner of College and Elm streets. The event is free and the public is welcome.

Mr. Amichai will also give a poetry reading and talk later that evening at 8 p.m. in the Yale Law School auditorium, 127 Wall St.

Mr. Pinsky, the thirty-ninth American Poet Laureate, is author of five books of poetry, including, most recently, "The Figured Wheel: New and Collected Poems 1966-1996." Currently a professor of graduate writing at Boston University, Mr. Pinsky's translation of Dante's "The Inferno" became a best-seller and was awarded the Los Angeles Times Book Award and the Howard Morton Landon Prize for translation.

Mr. Amichai, winner of the Israel Prize, that nation's highest cultural honor, is the author of short stories, novels and plays as well as 12 books of poetry. A resident of Jerusalem for the past 50 years, he is the first truly modern Hebrew poet to revolutionize the poetic idiom through his startling use of language. Mr. Amichai's verse has been translated into over 30 languages. The recent volume, "Yehuda Amichai: A Life of Poetry 1958-1994," was translated from the Hebrew by Benjamin Harshav, the Jacob and Hilda Blaustein Professor of Hebrew Language and Literature, and his wife Barbara.

John Hollander, the third poet to participate in the symposium, is author of 21 volumes of poetry and recipient of numerous awards, including the MacArthur Foundation Fellowship in 1990. He has been on the faculty at Yale since 1977. Noted as one of the leading scholar-poets in the nation, Professor Hollander has served as Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets.

Both the symposium and the poetry reading, hosted by Yale Hillel and sponsored by the David and Goldie Blanksteen Lectureship in Jewish Ethics, will inaugurate Yale Hillel's year-long salute to Israel on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the establishment of the state. The David and Goldie Blanksteen Lectureship in Jewish Ethics was established to provide the Yale community an opportunity to engage in the discussion of critical ethical questions with the leading thinkers, artists and activists of our time. Inaugurated in 1995 with a talk by David Hartman, the lectureship has brought Shimon Peres and Avivah Zornberg to Yale.

Yale Hillel provides religious, cultural, intellectual and social programming for the University and the greater New Haven community. For more information, call the Joseph Slifka Center for Jewish Life at Yale, 203/432-1134.