On Thursday, Nov.15, Hobart and William Smith Colleges Press will release a special issue of the Seneca Review, the Colleges’ national literary journal at a symposium at 7:30 p.m. in The Geneva Room.
This issue examines the lyric essay, a form championed by its long-time editor, the poet and nonfiction writer Deborah Tall, that combines the meditative quality of the essay with the intensity of a lyric poem.
To celebrate the lyric essay and honor Tall, editor from 1982 to 2006, Seneca Review veterans and lyric essayists, such as Joe Wenderoth, David Shields, Stephen Kuusisto '78 and John D'Agata '95, have contributed essays on the form. These theoretic and lyric essays are complemented by photographs that “display a way of thinking that resembles an essay's thinking,” explains Editor and Professor of English David Weiss.
Discussing the genre and honoring Tall will be four writers and scholars of the genre. They include Wayne Koestenbaum, author of “Hotel Theory, who will speak at the Fisher Center earlier in the week; Stephen Kuusisto '78, author of “Eavesdropping, who read with Tall at the President's Forum in September 2006; Jenny Boully, whose essay “The Body” was published in the Spring 2001 issue of the Seneca Review and later included in the Best American Poetry anthology; and John D'Agata '95, author of of “Halls of Fame and editor of “The Next American Essay, a recent anthology of lyric essays.
The symposium is sponsored by Seneca Review, the Fisher Center for the Study of Women and Men and the Office of the Provost. All are invited.