Former Pennsylvania poet laureate to present 'Poetry and Public Speech'
Not much saddens Sam Hazo more than the absence of poetry in our society.
“We're not a poetry-reading or poetry-listening people. It's too bad; it's our loss. All we have is advertising, TV programming, government prose and gossip,” he lamented.
“We don't hear poetry in speech or public life at all. That's a major deficiency in American society because poetry provides insight into ongoing human problems.”
Hazo, a former Pennsylvania poet laureate, will demonstrate this during an hourlong program titled “Poetry and Public Speech” at 7 p.m. Nov. 14 at the Northland Public Library, 300 Cumberland Road, McCandless.
He will read works written by himself and others that focus on achievement, disappointment, love, family and other topics.
“Dr. Hazo will discuss the role of memorable words in our lives and our recollections,” said Jane Jubb, manager of adult services for the library and a Franklin Park resident. “He has a wonderful reputation and is very well known. We feel quite privileged to have him come here to present this program.”
The program is free but is limited to the first 60 registrants. People may register at www.northlandlibrary.org or by calling 412-366-8100, ext. 113.
Hazo, 85, of Upper St. Clair, has published 45 books of poetry, fiction and essays. He also has written one film, five plays and seven speeches.
But, he said, he especially loves poetry because “it's the only thing that comes close to saying what I feel.”
Hazo founded the directed the International Poetry Forum in Pittsburgh in 1966, which engaged more than 400 poets and performers — ranging from Lawrence Ferlinghetti to Princess Grace of Monaco — to recite their works to crowds large and small for more than four decades before funding faded.
He is the McAnulty Distinguished Professor of English Emeritus at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, where he taught for 43 years and has been awarded 11 honorary doctorates.
Former Pennsylvania Gov. Robert P. Casey Sr. named Hazo the first poet laureate for the commonwealth. He served in that role from 1993 to 2003, a time he spent traveling and promoting poetry throughout the state.
With all these achievements, what is Hazo's proudest accomplishment?
“Marrying the girl I love,” he said.
He even wrote a poem or two about it.
Laurie Rees is a freelance writer for Trib Total Media.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Pittsburgh Youth Chorus training programs have openings in Hampton, Upper St. Clair
- Head of Ross business group seeks additional members
- Richland girl to hit the Benedum Center stage in ‘Gypsy’
- Studying abroad lets Pine-Richland junior mix love of travel with learning
- Hampton officials OK church plans for parking spaces, recreational field off Duncan Avenue
- Online series recognizes Hampton as top-notch school
- Shaler detective honored for work with school district
- McCandless teen to go from CLO’s ‘Gypsy’ to Comtra’s ‘Honk!’