Labyrinth Books and the Lewis Center for the Arts invite you to join us for a reading in celebration of another wild, expansive collection of poems by Paul Muldoon.

Smuggling diesel; Ben-Hur (the movie, yes, but also Lew Wallace’s original book, and Seosamh Mac Grianna’s Gaelic translation); a real trip to Havana; an imaginary trip to the Château d’If: Paul Muldoon’s newest collection of poems, his twelfth, is exceptionally wide-ranging in its subject matter—as we’ve come to expect from this master of self-reinvention. He can be somber or quick-witted—often within the same poem.

If this multifarious collection does have a theme, it is watchfulness. “War is to wealth as performance is to appraisal,” he warns in “Recalculating.” And “Source is to leak as Ireland is to debt.” Heedful, hard-won, head-turning, heartfelt, these poems attempt to bring scrutiny to bear on everything, including scrutiny itself. One Thousand Things Worth Knowing confirms Nick Laird’s assessment, in The New York Review of Books, that Muldoon is “the most formally ambitious and technically innovative of modern poets,” an experimenter and craftsman who “writes poems like no one else.”

Paul Muldoon is Professor at Princeton University and Founding Chair of the Lewis Center for the Arts. He is Poetry Editor of The New Yorker. His more recent collections of poetry arePoems 1968-1998, Moy Sand and Gravel, Horse Latitudes, and Maggot. Among countless other honors, Muldoon is the recipient of the American Academy of Arts and Letters award in literature. Other recent awards are the T. S. Eliot Prize, the Irish Times Poetry Prize, the Pulitzer Prize, the Griffin International Prize for Excellence in Poetry, the American Ireland Fund Literary Award, the Shakespeare Prize, the Aspen Prize for Poetry, and the European Prize for Poetry.

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