This year’s Thomas Lux Memorial Reading and Special Interview Event will feature a one-on-one interview of Gregory Orr by Laure-Anne Bosselaar to be followed by a Q&A session with the poet on Tuesday, January 19, at 4:00 pm
The Thomas Lux Memorial Reading Event, The Beloved: A Poetry and Song Cycle is a collaborative work created by Gregory Orr and The Parkington Sisters. This original work features the extraordinary musical compositions and lyric adaptation of Gregory Orr’s poems by the Parkington Sisters and sequenced with Gregory Orr’s reading and performance. Don’t miss this!
Visit the Festival Schedule to reserve your place.
Gregory Orr Interview by Laure-Anne Bosselaar Tuesday, January 19, 4:00 pm
The Beloved: A Poetry & Song Cycle Wednesday, January 20, 2021, 8 pm
followed by Q&A
GREGORY ORR is the author of more than 10 collections of poetry and several volumes of essays, criticism, and memoir, Gregory Orr is a master of the short, personal lyric. His poetry has been widely anthologized and translated into at least 10 languages. Observes critic Hank Lazer, “From Burning the Empty Nests (1973) to the present, Orr gradually developed the ability to fuse his incredible skill at visual precision—the signature of his image-based work in his very first book—with an insistent musical quality, joining visual precision with a beauty of sound.”
When Orr was 12, he accidentally killed his brother in a hunting accident, an event his family was never able to talk about. His mother died soon thereafter, and Orr found in poetry the transformative power of language. His near-death experience as a member of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) during the civil rights movement, in which he was jailed and severely beaten, contributes to the urgency with which his poems seek transformation. In an NPR story on his craft, Orr states, “I believe in poetry as a way of surviving the emotional chaos, spiritual confusions, and traumatic events that come with being alive.”
Orr has received fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities. He has also been a Fulbright Scholar and a Rockefeller Fellow at the Institute for the Study of Culture and Violence, and he received the Award in Literature from the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters. City of Salt (1995) was a finalist for the LA Times Book Award for Poetry.
Orr received his B.A. from Antioch College and his MFA from Columbia University. He founded the MFA program at the University of Virginia in 1975, and was the poetry editor of the Virginia Quarterly Review from 1978 to 2003.View poet's page
The Parkington Sisters are from Wellfleet Massachusetts, a town of crashing waves, gnarled pine trees, world famous oysters and the only town clock in the world that still rings ship’s time. The three sisters emerge from a lineage of musicians – daughters of a prog rock musician and a classically trained guitarist, they were raised constantly playing and writing music together, an immersion that has led to the individual and collective creative force they are today. Rose, Sarah and Ariel are songwriters and dynamic multi-instrumentalists who play guitar, piano, violin and viola. Like their hometown surroundings, the band boasts a collective magic — part chemistry, part alchemy, and entirely mysterious. They incorporate the eclectic songwriting and passions of artists like Joni Mitchell, Aimee Mann, Neil Young & June Carter, but with their own unique brand of soaring melodies, vibrant harmonies and intricate string arrangements.
They have shared the stage with such divergent artists as Mavis Staples, Bruce Springsteen, Dispatch, Blitzen Trapper and the Dropkick Murphys and have performed in studios and on stages across the US, Canada, and Europe, including New York’s Radio City Music Hall, Bonnaroo, NPR’s Mountain Stage, and the Dodge Poetry Festival. Their releases include the recent string accompaniment to the spoken word release The Book of Hylas and their new collaboration with Tanya Donelly. Their new album Collide, produced by Chris Shaw, will also be released in the Spring.