Pulitzer Prize-Winner Mueller to Present Silverman Reading

By Mara McGinnis

Release Date: October 12, 1998 This content is archived.


BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Lisel Mueller, Pulitzer Prize-winning poet, essayist and translator, will present the 22nd annual Oscar Silverman Memorial Poetry Reading at 8 p.m. on Nov. 6 in 250 Baird Hall on the University at Buffalo North (Amherst) Campus.

The event, which is part of the UB Poetics Program's "Wednesdays at Four Plus" literary series, will be free of charge and open to the public.

The reading will be presented in memory of Oscar Silverman, the distinguished UB scholar and teacher who chaired the Department of English and directed the university libraries. Silverman also helped to develop UB's remarkable collection of 20th-century poetry.

Mueller won the Pulitzer Prize for poetry in 1997 for her latest collection, "Alive Together: New and Selected Poems." Critic John Taylor described Mueller's poetry as responding to "historical tragedy, to our own 'heartless age,' to familial grief, to child-raising, to love for her husband and, increasingly, to death. . .it is infused with intimacy, authenticity and clarity."

Mueller, who fled from Nazi Germany with her family at the age of 15, also is a translator from the German and has translated a verse play, a contemporary novel and three volumes of prose and poetry by writer Marie Luise Kaschnitz.

Other books by Mueller include "The Need to Hold Still," which was chosen for the National Book Award; "The Private Life," which was a Lamont Poetry Selection, and "Waving from Shore," which received the Carl Sandburg Award.

According to a critical account in Poetry, "Lisel Mueller is one of those poets who has a genius for finding subjects. Her new collection. . .is thoroughly intelligent, the poems finding and holding onto subjects and feelings, images which occur to many but most often slip away unrecorded."

Her work has appeared in major literary journals, as well as in The Atlantic and The New Yorker.