Creative Writing Institute Presents: A Reading by Patrick Williamson

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Patrick Williamson

Patrick Williamson (center) with Professor Carlos Dews (left) and an audience member

On Wednesday, March 8, 2017, the Institute for Creative Writing and Literary Translation welcomed Patrick Williamson. A British poet and translator living in France, Williamson is increasingly focused on Italian poetry. He is currently translating into English the works of Italian poets Guido Cupani and Erri de Luca. Two of his most recent collections, Nel Santuario (Samuele Editore, 2013) and Beneficato (Samuele Editore, 2015), have been published in both English and Italian with the translation by Guido Cupani.

Williamson read works from Nel Santuario, both in English and, thanks to the cooperation of an audience member, in Italian.  He also read from his most recent collection, Beneficato. As he explained it, Beneficato began as a project called “Pulitzer Remix,” from The Found Poetry Review magazine. Williamson, as the other participating poets, was assigned a Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, which he had to use to create found poetry (using existing works to create new poetry). Williamson was assigned Humboldt’s Gift, a 1975 novel by Saul Bellow which won the Pulitzer Prize in 1976. Williamson’s method of creating found poetry for this project consisted of selecting words randomly from a page, then rearranging them to form poems.

Williamson continued by reading some of his most recent, yet-to-be-published material. His latest poems deal with contemporary global issues, such as the Middle East question and the refugee crisis. Among the works he read in this last section, were “Handywork,” “Crossings,” and “One Way Ticket.” To conclude the lecture, Williamson read a few of his translations of poems by Guido Cupani and Erri de Luca.