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A Tribute to W. D. Snodgrass

W. D. Snodgrass, affectionately known as “De” to his family, friends and students, was one of America’s finest contemporary poets. De published many collections of poetry, as well as books of translations, essays and a memoir. De’s collection The Fuhrer Bunker: A Cycle of Poems in Progress was BOA’s first title, published in 1977. That book was nominated for the National Book Critics Circle Award (see our earlier post for an original copy of that nomination letter), as was the last book De published with BOA – Not For Specialists: New and Selected Poems (2006). In between those collections, were four other BOA/Snodgrass books, each one driven by De’s impeccable ear for the music of language, his deft use of meter and various rhyme schemes and patterns, his vivid imagination and a gutsy intelligence that took on all subject matters, even those as “unfashionable” as the Nazis of the Third Reich. Oh yes, his first book, Heart’s Needle, published back in 1960, captured the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry – no small achievement. On January 13 of this year, De passed away at the age of 83 at his home in Erieville, New York. Soon after Peter Iglinski, Executive Producer of News & Public Affairs for WXXI public radio in Rochester, New York, recognizing the importance of this major American poet, asked Kathy Snodgrass (De’s wife and a musician and translator herself), BOA poet William B. Patrick and BOA Editor Thom Ward to be part of a live radio tribute to De. What follows is that conversation on February 6, 2009 at the WXXI studios in downtown Rochester. Besides hearing Kathy, Bill, Peter and Thom, you will hear excerpts from tributes from BOA poets Barton Sutter and X. J. (Joe) Kennedy. We hope this interview concerning the innovative writing and teaching of W. D. Snodgrass enlivens and informs your day. Click here this to listen to a streaming file of the [W. D. Snodgrass Tribute] [caption id="attachment_111" align="aligncenter" width="218" caption="W. D. Snodgrass. BOA poet."]W. D. Snodgrass. BOA poet.[/caption]
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