Major Jackson, Lee Herrick and Frank Bidart

Monday, November 8th at 7pm | Live on Crowdcast

Join us for the thirty-fifth episode of Write America featuring Major Jackson, Lee Herrick and Frank Bidart as they read and discuss their works intimating how the deep divisions in the country may be healed by the quiet power of art. 

This event is free to attend. Register here. Your purchase of a book helps support this program - see below for book details.

About the authors:

MAJOR JACKSON is the author of five books of poetry, including The Absurd Man (2020), Roll Deep (2015), Holding Company (2010), Hoops (2006) and Leaving Saturn (2002), which won the Cave Canem Poetry Prize for a first book of poems. His edited volumes include: Best American Poetry 2019, Renga for Obama, and Library of America’s Countee Cullen: Collected Poems. A recipient of fellowships from the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, Guggenheim Foundation, National Endowment for the Arts, and the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University, Major Jackson has been awarded a Pushcart Prize, a Whiting Writers’ Award, and has been honored by the Pew Fellowship in the Arts and the Witter Bynner Foundation in conjunction with the Library of Congress. He has published poems and essays in American Poetry Review, The New Yorker, Orion Magazine, Paris Review, Ploughshares, Poetry, Poetry London, and Zyzzva. Major Jackson lives in Nashville, Tennessee where he is the Gertrude Conaway Vanderbilt Chair in the Humanities at Vanderbilt University. He serves as the Poetry Editor of The Harvard Review.


Born in Daejeon, South Korea and adopted at 10 months old, Lee Herrick grew up in California. He is the author of the poetry collections Scar and Flower (2018), Gardening Secrets of the Dead (2012), and This Many Miles from Desire (2007). His poems have appeared in many literary magazines and anthologies, including The Bloomsbury Review, ZYZZYVA, Highway 99: A Literary Journey Through California’s Great Central Valley (2nd edition), One for the Money: The Sentence as Poetic Form, and Indivisible: Poems of Social Justice, among others.

Poet Brian Turner writes that Herrick’s poetry is “Whitman revised ... with a voice that is politically engaged and rooted in compassion. Gardening Secrets of the Dead is a wise, gorgeous book.”

He is coeditor, with Leah Silvieus, of The World I Leave You: Asian American Poets on Faith and Spirit (2020).

From 2015 to 2017, Herrick served as poet laureate of Fresno, California. Herrick lives in Fresno and teaches at Fresno City College and in the low-residency MFA Program at Sierra Nevada College.

FRANK BIDART is an American academic and poet, and a winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry.

Bidart is a native of California and considered a career in acting or directing when he was young. In 1957, he began to study at the University of California at Riverside, where he was introduced to writers such as T.S. Eliot and Ezra Pound and started to look at poetry as a career path. He then went on to Harvard, where he was a student and friend of Robert Lowell and Elizabeth Bishop. He began studying with Lowell and Reuben Brower in 1962.

He has been an English professor at Wellesley College since 1972, and has taught at nearby Brandeis University. He lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and he is gay. In his early work, he was noted for his dramatic monologue poems like Ellen West, which Bidart wrote from the point of view of a woman with an eating disorder, and Herbert White, which he wrote from the point of view of a psychopath. He has also written openly about his family in the style of confessional poetry.

He co-edited the Collected Poems of Robert Lowell which was published in 2003 after years of working on the book’s voluminous footnotes with his co-editor David Gewanter.

Bidart was the 2007 winner of Yale University’s Bollingen Prize in American Poetry. His chapbook, Music Like Dirt, later included in the collection Star Dust, was a finalist for the 2003 Pulitzer Prize in poetry. His 2013 book Metaphysical Dog was a finalist for the National Book Award in Poetry and won the National Book Critics Circle Award.

In 2017, Bidart received the Griffin Poetry Prize Lifetime Recognition Award and the 2017 National Book Award for Poetry for his book Half-light: Collected Poems 1965–2016, for which he was also awarded the 2018 Pulitzer Prize for Poetry for Half-light: Collected Poems 1965–2016.

Event date: 
Monday, November 8, 2021 - 7:00pm to 9:00pm
Event address: 
This event is on Crowdcast
The Absurd Man: Poems Cover Image
ISBN: 9780393867411
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: W. W. Norton & Company - August 24th, 2021

Scar and Flower Cover Image
ISBN: 9781625492944
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
(This book cannot be returned.)
Published: Word Poetry Books - October 31st, 2018

Against Silence: Poems Cover Image
ISBN: 9780374603519
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Farrar, Straus and Giroux - November 2nd, 2021