Episode 38: Alfred Corn


Join Melissa Studdard and Tiferet Journal  for a conversation with renowned poet and critic, Alfred Corn. Studdard and Corn will discuss Corn’s most recent collection of poetry, Tablesamong other things literary and spiritual.

Corn is a frequent reviewer for The New York Times Book Review and The Nation, and, in addition to poetry, has published a novel, critical essays, a prosody manual, a book of art criticism, and a Proust translation.

Corn, whose poetry has been widely anthologized, has been a recipient of the Levinson Prize from Poetry magazine, an Award in Literature from the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters, and fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Academy of American Poets, and the Rockefeller Study and Conference Center at Bellagio, Italy. As well, he received the Amy Clampitt Residency in 2004.

Of Corn’s poetry, Carolyn Forché, of The Lambda Book Report, says, “Corn’s formal range is everywhere apparent. He even attempts sapphics in English which closely resemble what might be accomplished in the Greek. But as he understands art to be ‘always more than technical virtuosity,’ his poetry never merely displays his considerable poetic skills, but rather becomes a mode of thought, an inquiry into art and passion, the limits of mastery, mortality, divinity, and the possible destiny of the human soul.”


To learn more about our guest Alfred Corn please visit: www.alfredcorn.org and http://www.poetryfoundation.org/bio/alfred-corn


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  1. It seems that, while it has always been a point of attention, you have been particularly preoccupied as of late with ekphrasis in poetry. I would love to hear your thoughts more generally on how ekphrasis might be especially relevant to poetic practice, and more narrowly what qualities make ekhprastic use of materials most successful. Lastly, I am almost certain the discussion will come around to this anyway, but just in case: would you please speak to the importance of the numinous in poetry. Generally: is it absolute and essential for “greatness”? Specifically: what are some of its many representations?