Nature writer Sydney Lea up next in literary reading series


Vermont's poet laureate, Sydney Lea.

Veteran poet Sydney Lea, whom author Michael Pollan called “as fine a companion on the page as American writing about nature has to offer,” continues Bates College’s Language Arts Live reading series at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 17, in the Edmund S. Muskie Archives, 70 Campus Ave.

Open to the public at no cost, Language Arts Live is sponsored by the English department, the Humanities Fund, the Learning Associates Program and the John Tagliabue Poetry Fund. For more information, please contact 207-786-6256 or 207-784-0416, or

Recently named poet laureate of Vermont, Lea has been described as “a man in the woods with his head full of books, and a man in books with his head full of woods.” His most recent poetry collection is Young of the Year (Four Way Books, 2011). The collection I Was Thinking of Beauty is scheduled for publication by Four Way in 2013.

Lea founded New England Review in 1977 and edited it till 1989. Of his previous poetry collections, Pursuit of a Wound (University of Illinois Press, 2000), was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for poetry. The preceding volume, To the Bone: New and Selected Poems, was co-winner of the 1998 Poets’ Prize.

In 1989, Lea published the novel A Place in Mind (Scribner). His 1994 collection of naturalist essays, Hunting the Whole Way Home, was reissued by the Lyons Press in 2003.

Lea has taught at Dartmouth, Yale, Wesleyan, Vermont and Middlebury colleges, as well as institutions in Europe. His stories, poems, essays and criticism have appeared in The New Yorker, The Atlantic, The New Republic, The New York Times, Sports Illustrated and many other periodicals, as well as numerous anthologies. He lives in Newbury, Vt., where he is active in statewide literacy and conservation efforts.

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