October 29, 2021

Frank Bidart

Harvard Book Store's virtual event series is thrilled to welcome Pulitzer Prize–winning poet FRANK BIDART for a discussion of his latest, highly anticipated poetry collection, Against Silence. He will be joined in conversation by GARTH GREENWELL, celebrated author of What Belongs to You and Cleanness.


Words, images reek of the worlds from which they

emerge: different worlds, each with its all but palpable

aroma, its parameters, limitations, promise.

Words—a gap, nonetheless always and forever,

between words and the world—

slip, slide, are imprecise, BLIND, perish.

Set up a situation,—

. . . then reveal an abyss.

For more than fifty years, Frank Bidart has given voice to the inner self, to the depths of his own psyche and the unforgettable characters that populate his poems. In Against Silence, the Pulitzer Prize winner’s eleventh collection of poetry, he urges others to join the chorus. Bidart writes of the cycles we cannot escape and the feelings we cannot forget. Our history is not a tabula rasa, but a repeating, refining story of love and hate, of words spoken and cruelties enacted. Moving among the dead and the living, the figures of his life and of his past, Bidart calls forth—with nothing settled and nothing forgotten, we must speak.

About Author(s)

Frank Bidart is the author of several collections of poetry, including Metaphysical DogWatching the Spring FestivalStar DustDesire, and In the Western Night: Collected Poems 1965–90. He has won many prizes, including the Wallace Stevens Award, the Bollingen Prize for American Poetry, and the National Book Critics Circle Award. His book Half-light: Collected Poems 1965–2016 won the 2018 Pulitzer Prize and the 2017 National Book Award. He lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Garth Greenwell is the author of What Belongs to You, which won the British Book Award for Debut of the Year, was long-listed for the National Book Award, and was a finalist for six other awards, including the PEN/Faulkner Award and the Los Angeles Times Book Prize. Greenwell's fiction has appeared in the New Yorker, the Paris ReviewA Public Space, and VICE, and he has written criticism for the London Review of Books and New York Times Book Review, among other publications. His latest book, Cleanness, was longlisted for the Prix Sade 2021, the Joyce Carol Oates Prize, and the Gordon Burn Prize. He lives in Iowa City.