Robert Pinsky — Jersey Breaks: Becoming an American Poet - at Conn Ave

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Saturday, November 5, 2022 - 5:00pm

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In late-1940s Long Branch, a historic but run-down Jersey Shore resort town, in a neighborhood of Italian, Black, and Jewish families, Robert Pinsky began his unlikely journey to becoming a poet. Descended from a bootlegger grandfather, an athletic father, and a rebellious tomboy mother, Pinsky was an unruly but articulate high school C student, whose obsession with the rhythms and melodies of speech inspired him to write.

Pinsky traces the roots of his poetry, with its wide and fearless range, back to the voices of his neighborhood, to music and a distinctly American tradition of improvisation, with influences including Mark Twain and Ray Charles, Marianne Moore and Mel Brooks, Emily Dickinson and Sid Caesar, Dante Alighieri and the Orthodox Jewish liturgy. He reflects on how writing poetry helped him make sense of life’s challenges, such as his mother’s traumatic brain injury, and on his notable public presence, including an unprecedented three terms as United States poet laureate.

Candid, engaging, and wry, Jersey Breaks offers an intimate self-portrait and a unique poetic understanding of American culture.

Robert Pinsky is the author of numerous books of poetry, including the Pulitzer Prize finalist The Figured Wheel, and prose, including Democracy, Culture and the Life of Poetry. US. poet laureate from 1997 to 2000, he now teaches at Boston University and lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

5015 Connecticut Ave NW
Washington, DC 20008
Non Fiction
Jersey Breaks: Becoming an American Poet By Robert Pinsky Cover Image
ISBN: 9780393882049
Availability: In Stock—Click for Locations
Published: W. W. Norton & Company - October 11th, 2022