Gregory Pardlo to Speak at Inspired Writers Series Virtual Event, April 21

Gregory Pardlo to Speak at Inspired Writers Series Virtual Event, April 21

Gregory Pardlo headshot

Gregory Pardlo; Photo Credit: Rachel Eliza Griffiths

The College of Arts and Sciences' MFA in Creative Writing Program will present “The Poetry and Prose of Contemporary America” with Pulitzer Prize-winning poet and memoirist Gregory Pardlo on Thursday, April 21 at 7:30 p.m.

Led by Phil Klay, National Book Award-winning author and professor in the MFA in Creative Writing program, the second panel discussion event in this semester’s Inspired Writers Series will feature Pulitzer Prize-winning poet and memoirist Gregory Pardlo.

Pardlo’s writing delves into the work of unions, the intellectual weight of blue-collar labor, American patriotism, Black America cultures, and masculinity, as well as the aesthetic and moral challenges of identity and witness in poetry.

Hailed by the Pulitzer Prize jury as an author of “clear-voiced poems that bring readers the news from 21st century America, rich with thought, ideas and histories public and private,” Pardlo and Klay will discuss the poetry and prose of contemporary America.

Pardlo is the author of Totem (2007), for which he won the APR/Honickman First Book Prize, and Digest (2014), which earned him the 2015 Pulitzer Prize for Poetry. In 2017, Pardlo was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship.

Pardlo’s poems, reviews, and translations have appeared in The American Poetry ReviewCallalooPoet LoreHarvard ReviewPloughshares, and on National Public Radio.

He is also the author of Air Traffic: A Memoir of Ambition and Manhood in American (2018). The book, which weaves together Pardlo’s family history — including his father’s role in the 1981 air traffic controller’s strike — with a larger exploration of Blackness and masculinity in American culture, was named to numerous top-ten lists, including the BBC, Vogue, the New Jersey Monthly, and The New York Times. Pardlo is poetry editor for the Virginia Quarterly Review and teaches in the MFA program at Rutgers University in Camden, New Jersey.

A companion speaker series to the MFA program, Inspired Writers Series events are designed to not only provide encouragement and inspiration for writers, but also to inform, entertain, and enlighten any participant with lively discussions from top authors. All events are free and open to the public.

Later in this spring on May 4, Klay will host a final Inspired Writers event featuring novelist and essayist Tara Isabella Burton

For information about the Inspired Writers Series, please visit

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