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Centre for Poetry and Poetics, Sheffield: Alice Notley

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A Reading with Alice Notley, Centre for Poetry and Poetics, Sheffield

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Alice Notley was born in Bisbee, Arizona, on November 8, 1945, and grew up in Needles, California, in the Mohave Desert. She was educated in the Needles public schools, at Barnard College, and at The Writers Workshop, University of Iowa. During the late 60s and early 70s she lived a traveling poet’s life (San Francisco, Bolinas, London, Wivenhoe, Chicago) before settling on New York’s Lower East Side. For sixteen years there, she was an important force in the eclectic second generation of the so-called New York School of poetry. In 1992 she moved to Paris, France and has remained there ever since, generally practicing no profession except for the writing, publication, and performing of her work, and the teaching of an occasional workshop. Notley is the author of more than thirty books of poetry including At Night the States, the double volume Close to Me and Closer . . . (The Language of Heaven) and Désamère, and How Spring Comes, which was a co-winner of the San Francisco Poetry Award. Her epic poem The Descent of Alette was published by Penguin in 1996, followed by Mysteries of Small Houses (1998), which was one of three finalists for the Pulitzer Prize and the winner of the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Poetry. Notley’s long poem Disobedience won the Griffin International Prize in 2002. In 2005 the University of Michigan Press published a book of essays on poetry, Coming After. Notley edited The Collected Poems of Ted Berrigan (University of California Press), with her sons Anselm and Edmund Berrigan as co-editors. The three of them edited as wellThe Selected Poems of Ted Berrigan. Notley has also edited two volumes of poetry by the British poet Douglas Oliver. Her most recent books are Certain Magical Acts, Benediction, Songs and Stories of the Ghouls, and Grave of Light: New and Selected Poems, winner of the Academy of American Poets’ Lenore Marshall Award. Notley has edited or co-edited three poetry journals over the years: CHICAGO, SCARLET, and Gare du Nord. She is also a collagist and cover artist. In 2015 she was awarded the Ruth Lilly Prize, for lifetime achievement in poetry.

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Organiser of Centre for Poetry and Poetics, Sheffield: Alice Notley

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