Tuesday, September 30, 5:00 pm - 6:00 pm, 2008
A conversation with Nicholas Jenkins about the life and poetry of W.H. Auden
Nicholas Jenkins writes about and teaches 20th-century culture and literature, especially poetry. After receiving his B.A. from Oxford, Jenkins came to the United States as a Harkness Fellow. He did postgraduate work at Columbia and was then employed as an editor and writer at ARTnews magazine in New York. He received a D.Phil. from Oxford and, after teaching in the Harvard English Department for two years, where he co-directed the "Modernism in its Contexts" seminar at the Center for Literary and Cultural Studies, he joined the Stanford English Department in 1998. Jenkins is currently completing two projects: a critical edition of W.H. Auden's The Double Man (1941) and a book, under contract to Harvard University Press, called The Island: W.H. Auden and the Making of a Post-National Poetry. Using Auden's work of the 1930s and 1940s as a case study, the volume describes a mid-twentieth-century shift from lyrics of poetic nationalism to a poetics of lyric cosmopolitanism. (An essay on this theme: "Writing without 'Roots': Auden, Eliot and Post-National Poetry" was recently published in the collection "Something We Have That They Don't": British and American Poetic Relations Since 1925.) Jenkins has edited a Lincoln Kirstein Reader and co-edited and contributed to three volumes of Auden Studies. He is Series Editor of the Princeton University Press's "Facing Pages" translation series, and he regularly contributes essays and reviews to periodicals that include the London Review of Books, the Times Literary Supplement, New York Times Book Review, the New Republic, the New Yorker, and theYale Review. A recepient of fellowships from the ACLS and from the Stanford Humanities Center, Nicholas Jenkins is Co-Chair of the W.H. Auden Society and Literary Executor of the poet, scholar and ballet impresario Lincoln Kirstein.