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Kinnell, Sellars are Montgomery Fellows

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Mark your calendars for public events Jan. 20 and Feb. 10

Poet Galway Kinnell and Peter Sellars, a director of theater, opera, and film, will join the Dartmouth community as Montgomery Fellows during winter term 2009.

"These two extraordinarily creative artists have changed the nature of the poetic and theatrical arts in America," says Richard Stamelman, executive director of the Montgomery Endowment. "They share a belief in the power of hope and love to reveal, within a world of poverty, injustice, oppression, self-centeredness, and death, the fundamental spirituality that makes us human."

Kinnell will be in residence Jan. 12 to Feb. 27. Sellars will be on campus Feb. 6 to Feb. 13.

‘A major contemporary poet'
Galway Kinnell is the author of more than a dozen volumes of poetry, most recently Strong Is Your Hold (Houghton Mifflin, 2006). He has been honored as a MacArthur fellow, and has won a Pulitzer Prize and a National Book Award.

Galway Kinnell (Photo by Karen M. Pelluso)

"Kinnell is one the most vital and important of America's living writers, a poet of the physical world," says Stamelman, "who listens to what he calls the ‘undanced cadence of vanishing' and who through poetry and love searches the darkness for the ‘thrilling, tragic light' that illuminates, if only for a moment, our transitory lives."

Kinnell will give a public reading on Tuesday, Jan. 20, at 4:30 p.m. in Filene Hall's Moore Auditorium.

While in residence, Kinnell will teach a non-credit course for selected student poets. He will also meet with students at Montgomery-sponsored lunches, dinners, and discussion groups. Cleopatra Mathis, the Frederick Sessions Beebe '35 Professor in the Art of Writing, says, "Galway is not only a major contemporary poet, but an experienced teacher of the highest order and a generous person. Our students are extremely lucky to have him with us."

‘A highly innovative director'
A visionary artist, Peter Sellars has staged operas, film, and theater productions internationally, generating new interpretations of classic works, promoting contemporary pieces, and creating new works, frequently in collaboration with composer John Adams. Their work together includes the operas Nixon in China (1987), The Death of Klinghoffer (1991), and Doctor Atomic (2005). Sellars is the recipient of a MacArthur Fellowship, the Erasmus Prize, and is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Peter Sellars(Photo courtesy Telluride Film Festival)

His public Montgomery lecture, "New Crowned Hope: The Arts in the Age of Obama," will be held on Tuesday, Feb. 10, at 4:30 p.m. in Moore Theater, Hopkins Center.

"Sellars is a highly innovative director who often uses classic plays to make astute and timely comments on current political situations," says Laura Edmondson, assistant professor of theater. Her winter term class, "Human Rights and Performance," is one of several Sellars will visit during his residency. He will offer a master class for performing arts students and attend a rehearsal of the Department of Theater's production of The Grapes of Wrath. Sellars' visit to Dartmouth is also part of Class Divide, the Hopkins Center for the Arts' three-year programming initiative examining the issue of class through the arts. (Learn more at

In 2006, Sellars served as artistic director for New Crowned Hope, a month-long arts festival that was part of Vienna's 2006 Mozart Year, celebrating the 250th anniversary of the Austrian composer's birth. The festival included works in a variety of media commissioned from international artists.

Six of the festival films will be shown at Dartmouth this winter, as part of "Peter Sellars: New Crowned Hope," a Loew film series curated by Sellars. The series begins with a screening of the documentary A Journey With Peter Sellars on Thursday, Jan. 8, at 7 p.m. in the Loew Auditorium. Sellars will introduce a screening one of the festival films, Opera Jawa, on Thursday, Feb. 12, at 7 p.m., also in Loew Auditorium.

Established in 1977, the Kenneth and Harle Montgomery Endowment was created "to provide for the advancement of the academic realm of the College in ways that will significantly add to the quality and character thereof, making possible major new dimensions for, as well as extraordinary enrichments to, the educational experience offered primarily to undergraduate students within the Dartmouth community."




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Last Updated: 12/17/08