PULLMAN, Wash. — Poets Edward Dorn and Jennifer Dunbar Dorn will present a poetry reading Thursday, March 11, on the Washington State University campus. The 4 p.m. program in Avery Hall’s Bundy Reading Room is part of the Ruth Slonim Poetry Series and is open to the public without charge.
Edward Dorn’s epic poem, “Gunslinger,” is thought by many critics to be the most important long poem written during the second half of the 20th century. It has been called “a fundamental American masterpiece” by Thomas McGuane. Dorn has published 30 other books of poetry and prose, including notable works on Native Americans, including “The Shoshoneans and Recollections of Gran Apacheria.” His satirical voice, often compared favorably to Jonathan Swift and the Latin epigrammatist Martial, is most apparent in “Abhorrences” and his new work, “Languedoc Variorum: A Defense of Heresy and Heretics.”
Jennifer Dunbar Dorn is senior editor of “Sniper Logic,” the publication of the creative writing department at University of Colorado at Boulder. An editor and filmmaker, Dunbar Dorn also edited “Rolling Stock,” a wide-ranging cultural journal of the ’80s and early ’90s.
Dunbar Dorn’s films have been widely screened. She will present work from “Cold War Cowboy: The Long Exile of Dean Reed.” Reed is the only American ever to win the Order of Lenin for music and literature, although his work remains virtually unknown in the United States. He sold more records than Elvis in South America in the early ’60s and four million albums in the Soviet Union in 1966, where his films were the biggest box office attractions behind the Iron Curtain.
Reed drowned in 1986 under mysterious circumstances in East Germany while making a $4 million film titled “Bloody Heart” about the 1973 Indian uprising at Wounded Knee on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota.
The Dorns’ appearance at WSU is sponsored by the English department and the Ruth Slonim Poetry Fund.
The Slonim series continues March 23 with a 7 p.m. program by Henry Taylor, the 1986 Pulitzer Prize winner in poetry. The final program is planned for March 31 at 4 p.m. with Murray Jackson, University of Michigan professor emeritus and poet. Both readings will be held in Bundy Reading Room.