September 29, 2009 - Frank Bidart, a distinguished poet and a native of Bakersfield, will give a poetry reading as part of the California Writers Series at California State University, Bakersfield on Tuesday, Oct. 20 at 7 p.m., in the Dezember Room of the Walter Stiern Library.
Born in 1939, Bidart grew up in Bakersfield and attended Garces High School. He hoped for a career as a film director, but fell in love with literature during his years as an undergraduate at UC Riverside. He went on to earn his doctoral degree in English at Harvard University.
Bidart is now a professor of English and creative writing at Wellesley College and has published eight books of poetry, most with Farrar Straus Giroux. His sixth book, "Desire," was published in 1997 and became a finalist for the National Book Award and the National Book Critic's Circle Award. The book was also nominated for a Pulitzer Prize. His latest book, "Watching the Spring Festival: Poems," was published in 2008.
In 2007, Bidart was awarded the prestigious Bollingen Prize from Yale University Library. He was elected chancellor of the Academy of American Poets in 2003, and co-edited Robert Lowell's "Collected Poems" (2003).
The event is free and open to the public, and will be followed by a discussion with the author, book sale and signing made possible by Russo's Books.
The California Writers Series is sponsored by the English department, Sigma Tau Delta, the English honors society, and Gay Lesbian Straight Student Network. Previous readers have included Kay Ryan, Wanda Coleman, Joe Wenderoth, Susana Chavez-Silverman, Pam Houston, Ngugiwa Thiong'o, Brian Turner and Aimee Phan.
For more information:Marit MacArthur
Media ContactColleen Dillaway, Director of Public Affairs & Communications