February 17, 2012 — Poet Gregory Pardlo will give a reading as a Rea Visiting Lecturer at the University of Virginia on Feb. 23 at 8 p.m. at the University Bookstore.
Born in Philadelphia in 1968, Pardlo is a graduate of Rutgers University. He received a master of fine arts degree from New York University in 2001.
Pardlo is the author of "Totem," winner of the 2007 American Poetry Review/ Honickman Prize. He also translated, from the Danish, Niels Lyngsoe's "Pencil of Rays and Spiked Mace" (Bookthug, 2004) after living in Denmark for a year.
He has received fellowships from the New York Foundation for the Arts, the Cave Canem Foundation and the MacDowell Colony, among others, plus a translation grant from the National Endowment for the Arts.
Now an assistant professor of creative writing at George Washington University, he is poetry book review editor of Callaloo, a Journal of African Diaspora Arts and Letters, whose editor, Charles Rowell, brought the journal to U.Va. when was an English professor between 1986 and 2001. (The journal has since relocated to Texas A&M University.)
Pardlo divides his time between Washington, D.C., and Brooklyn, where he and his family care for an old house in the Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood.
— By Anne Bromley
"Written by Himself" [excerpt]
I was born in minutes in a roadside kitchen a skillet
whispering my name. I was born to rainwater and lye;
I was born across the river where I
was borrowed with clothespins, a harrow tooth,
broadsides sewn in my shoes. I returned, though
it please you, through no fault of my own,
pockets filled with coffee grounds and eggshells.
American Poetry Review, vol. 38 No. 4, Ju