Polish Poet Piotr Sommer Is This Year’s Franke Fellow

Polish poet and translator Piotr Sommer has been appointed by the Whitney Humanities Center (WHC) as the Franke Visiting Fellow for the fall semester.

On Tuesday, Oct. 20, Sommer will give a public reading, “Overdoing It and Other Poems,” at 4:30 p.m. in Rm. 208 of the WHC, 53 Wall St. The event is free and open to the public.

Sommer is the author of 12 volumes of poetry, including “Things to Translate” and the career-spanning collection “Continued.” His poems, which have been hailed for their spontaneous, colloquial style, often play with ironic “intermeanings,” teasing out language in lyrical observations of everyday life. As a translator, he has produced editions of D.J. Enright, Seamus Heaney, Frank O’Hara and Charles Reznikoff, and has rendered into Polish the poetry of John Ashbery, John Berryman, John Cage, Kenneth Koch, Michael Longley, Robert Lowell, Derek Mahon and James Schuyler.

The poet has also published two books of literary essays and is editor of Literatura na Swiecie (Literature in the World), a Warsaw-based magazine of international writing.

Sommer, who lives outside Warsaw, has taught at several American universities and has been a fellow at the National Humanities Center in North Carolina and the DAAD Artists Program in Berlin.

The Franke Visiting Scholars and Artists Program is made possible by the generosity of Mr. and Mrs. Richard Franke of Chicago. The creation of this residential fellowship is intended to ensure ongoing interdisciplinary ex­change and creative debate at the WHC in particular and at Yale in general. The Frankes also endowed an annual series of lectures and seminars at the WHC, which present topics in the humanities to Yale undergraduates and the broader New Haven community.

For further information, contact Sue Stout at (203) 432-6556 or susan.stout@yale.edu.

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