BUFFALO, N.Y. – The award-winning Irish-born poet Eamon
Grennan’s productive and distinguished career has earned him
a reputation among his peers for lyrical skill and psychological
Grennan will present the University at Buffalo's 2013 Oscar
Silverman Poetry Reading Nov. 15 at 8 p.m. at the Butler Mansion,
672 Delaware Ave., at North Street.
The reading is free and open to the public.
Grennan has written several collections of poetry, most recently
“Out of Sight: New and Collected Poems,” published in
2010, which the New Yorker described as “the definitive book
by one of contemporary poetry’s most sensuous and shimmering
American Poet Laureate Billy Collins said, “Few poets are
as generous as Eamon Grennan in the sheer volume of delight his
poems convey, and fewer still are as attentive to the marvels of
the earth. To read him is to be led on a walk through the natural
world of clover and cricket and, most of all, light, and to face
with an open heart the complexity of being human.” His
sentiments have been echoed by W.S. Merwin as well.
Grennan has written a book of essays on Irish poetry in the 20th
century and won the PEN Award for poetry in translation for
“Selected Poems of Giacomo Leopardi,” the 19th-century
Italian poet, essayist, philosopher and philologist.
He won the Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize from the Academy of
American Poets for “Still Life with Waterfall” (2002),
several Pushcart Prizes, and fellowships from the National
Endowment for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Humanities
and the Guggenheim Foundation.
The author of more than 10 collections of poetry, Grennan has
also written a book of essays, “Facing the Music: Irish
Poetry in the 20th Century” (1999). He won the PEN
Award for poetry in translation for “Selected Poems of
Giacomo Leopardi” (1997), and the Lenore Marshall Poetry
Prize from the Academy of American Poets for “Still Life with
Waterfall” (2002). He has also won several Pushcart Prizes.
He has been awarded fellowships from the National Endowment for the
Arts, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Guggenheim
Foundation. Educated at University College, Dublin, and Harvard
University, he has lived in the United States since 1964 and was
the Dexter M. Ferry Jr. Professor of English at Vassar College
until his retirement in 2004.
The annual Oscar Silverman Reading is presented in honor of the
late distinguished scholar and teacher who taught in the UB
Department of English from 1926 to 1963, and served as chair from
1955 to 1963.
Ansie Baird, the daughter of Oscar Silverman, for whom the
reading is named, says, “Every year Carl Dennis (emeritus
professor of English at UB) and I select a poet of some long-term
distinction to give this reading. We read the work of various
poets and each of us has particular voices we would like to have
read locally, poets whose work is accessible perhaps to non-readers
of poetry as well as those who are immersed in contemporary
“This process has worked well,” she says, “as
the reading has long been a very popular and well-attended event
and I’m confident it will be this year. Grennan is a
wonderful poet and a charming man. For the first time, we’re
holding the reading off campus to make it more accessible to many
in our audience.”
From 1960 to 1968, Silverman also directed and greatly expanded
the University Libraries and was instrumental in acquiring
important materials for UB's world-class collection of 20th-century
poetry, in particular its Robert Graves Collection, the manuscripts
of Wyndham Lewis and the James Joyce Collection, which has evolved
into what is widely considered the finest Joyce collection in the