Australian Poet/Jesuit to speak at Fairfield University Nov. 11


Peter Daniel Steele, S.J., a poet and scholar who is revered as one of the most remarkable figures in Australian writing, will be speaking in the Multimedia Room of Fairfield University"s DiMenna-Nyselius Library on Tuesday, Nov. 11 at 4 p.m. The public is welcome to attend the lecture, "Showing and Saying: Art into Poetry, which will offer reflections on poems Fr. Steele has written in response to paintings by Giovanni di Paolo, Hans Memling, Caravaggio, Leonard French, and Niccolo Rosselli.

Fr. Steele, whose style has been described as "at once dense and light," has published several volumes of poetry, one of the most recent being, "Plenty," which delves into the realms of ekphrastic poetry where poems have their origins in works of visual art.

He has also published four books of literary criticism on Jonathan Swift, modern poetry, autobiography as a mode of writing, and Peter Porter. "Expatriates: Reflections on Modern Poetry," concentrates especially on the poetry of Americans, while "Invisible Riders" drawn from the author's work teaching in America and his activities in Australia, displays a mixture of the formal and the easy-going with a wide array of emotions and attitudes.

Originally from Perth, Fr. Steele studied at the University of Melbourne where his doctoral thesis and subsequent book were on Jonathan Swift. He went on to teach in the university's English Department, where he held a personal chair and is now professor emeritus. He has been a visiting professor at the University of Alberta, the University of Oxford, Loyola University Chicago, and Georgetown University, where he is presently teaching.

Fr. Steele's lecture is being sponsored by the College of Arts & Sciences and the English Department. For more information contact Dr. Kim Bridgford, (203) 254-4000, ext. 2795.

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Media Contact: Nancy Habetz, (203) 254-4000, ext. 2647, nhabetz@fairfield.edu

Posted on November 3, 2008

Vol. 41, No. 115