W. S. Merwin, Reading, 18 May 2000 – Video

Recorded at the Lensic Theater in Santa Fe, New Mexico, October 18, 2000.

W.S. Merwin poet, translator, and environmental activist, has become one of the most widely read poets in America, with a career spanning five decades. The son of a Presbyterian minister, for whom he began writing hymns at the age of five, Merwin went to Europe as a young man and developed a love of languages that led to work as a literary translator.

Over the years, his poetic voice has moved from the more formal and medieval to a more distinctly American voice. W.S. Merwin’s recent poetry is perhaps his most personal, arising from his deeply held anti-imperialist, pacifist, and environmentalist beliefs. In 2005 he will have three new books: Migration: Selected Poems 1951-2001; a book of poems called Present Company; and the memoir Summer Doorways which chronicles his days as a student in seminary school and at Princeton, through the next years spent as a tutor for children of privilege living abroad.
William Merwin was the recipient of the 2004 Lannan Literary Lifetime Achievement Award.

You may learn more about this event on the Lannan website.