HERMITAGE WRITER/POET/CULTURAL DIPLOMAT,
CHRISTOPHER MERRILL FEATURED AT BOOKSTORE1
The Hermitage Artist Retreat is pleased to announce that Fellow Christopher Merrill will be reading from his just published memoir, Self Portrait with Dogwood, on Sunday, February 26th at 2:00 pm at Bookstore1’s new location, 12 South Palm Avenue, Sarasota. The event is free but reservations are requested due to limited seating. To reserve your place, visit the website, www.sarasotabooks.com . Christopher Merrill is a poet, nonfiction writer, translator and editor, as well as a cultural diplomat. Of this newest book, the Los Angeles Book Review writes, “Christopher Merrill has always believed in quests. Over many years and many books, he has traveled out, confronting fear, admiring the courage and conviction of others, standing on the shoulders of giants to peer into the future. Without knowing it, he has followed a path in his work that was once common for poets before they turned inward; transforming terror into beauty.”
“When not running the International Writers’ Program at University of Iowa or as a member of our National Curatorial Council which chooses Hermitage Fellows, Christopher travels for the State Department as a cultural diplomat,” remarked Bruce E. Rodgers, Hermitage executive director. “His stories are always fascinating. Don’t miss the chance to hear him read about his personal journeys.”
Christopher Merrill has published six collections of poetry, including Brilliant Water, and Watch Fire, for which he received the Lavan Younger Poets Award from the Academy of American Poets; translations of Aleš Debeljak’s Anxious Moments and The City and the Child; several edited volumes, among them, The Forgotten Language: Contemporary Poets and Nature and From the Faraway Nearby: Georgia O’Keeffe as Icon; and five books of nonfiction, including his most recent Self Portrait with Dogwood, which he will read from and discuss on February 26. His work has been translated into 25 languages; his journalism appears in many publications; his awards include a knighthood in arts and letters from the French government. He has held the William H. Jenks Chair in Contemporary Letters at the College of the Holy Cross, and now directs the International Writing Program at The University of Iowa. He serves on the U.S. National Commission for UNESCO, he has conducted cultural diplomacy missions in over 30 countries for the U.S. State Department, and in April 2012 President Obama appointed Merrill to the National Council on the Humanities.
“We have grown to know and appreciate the non-stop life of Christopher Merrill,” continued Rodgers. “Having him reflect on all he has experienced will be very special.”
The Hermitage is a not-for-profit artist retreat located at 6660 Manasota Key Road in Englewood, FL. It invites accomplished painters, sculptors, writers, playwrights, poets, composers and other artists from all over the world for residencies on its beachfront historic campus. Artists are asked to interact with the community during their stay and as a result, Hermitage artists touch thousands of Gulf Coast community residents with unique and inspiring programs each year. Hermitage community programs are partially sponsored by Philanthropist Gerri Aaron, the Florida Division of Cultural Affairs and the Woman’s Exchange. In addition, the Hermitage awards and administers the prestigious Greenfield Prize, an annual $30,000 commission for a new work of art, rotating among visual art, music and drama. The Hermitage also partners with the Aspen Music Festival and School to award the annual Hermitage Prize to a composition student during the Festival. For more information about The Hermitage Artist Retreat, call 941-475-2098, ext. 5, or visit the website at www.HermitageArtistRetreat.org.