Turning to Voice: Thoughts on Poetry and the Public
Free Public Lecture
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How is it that good poetry opens imaginal spaces that are unavailable by other means? And why are these articulations necessary for the public at large, as well as for individuals?
This lecture considers the universal human good of articulate expression – the usefulness of poetry in people’s lives—even when that expression is difficult. Why do we have poets laureate, for example, and how can such positions fulfill a public need?
Using performances of poems by multiple authors, the lecture also argues for the ubiquity of poetry in our lives, from Shakespeare to popular culture, and considers the counter example of the poet as rebel outsider.
Professor David Mason, Writer and Poet
Professor David Mason
Writer and Poet
Professor David Mason is an American writer living in Tasmania, and former poet laureate of Colorado. His many books include *Ludlow: A Verse Novel, Voices, Places: Essays* and *The Sound: New and Selected Poems*. His work can be found in *The New Yorker, Poetry, The Nation, The New Republic, The Times Literary Supplement, The Age, Arena*, and many other periodicals. Mason teaches at The Colorado College. Mason is also known as a writer of libretti. He wrote the libretti for composer Lori Laitman's opera of *The Scarlet Letter*, and her oratorio. He won the Thatcher Hoffman Smith Creativity in Motion Prize for the development of a new libretto based upon Ludlow. His Grammynominated oneact opera with composer Tom Cipullo, *After Life*, premiered in Seattle and San Francisco in 2015 and is also available on CD from Naxos. It won the 2017 Dominick Argento Prize for Best Chamber Opera from the National Opera Association.