Humanities Forum: Editing May Swenson: At the Intersection of Poetry and Science

Wednesday, April 17, 2013 ( 1:00 pm to 2:00 pm )

Location: Morton 324, Stevens Institute of Technology

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April 17, 2013. "Editing May Swenson: At the Intersection of Poetry and Science"
A talk by Andrew Rubenfeld.

May Swenson was an American original.  As a modernist she wrote inventive and expressive poetry whose subjects range from the reaches of outer space to the phenomena of daily life, poetry that captures her lifelong interest in wildlife as well as celebrations of popular culture such as baseball, bronco busting, and James Bond movies.  She once remarked that “nature includes everything: the entire universe, the city, the country, the human mind, human creatures, and animal creatures.”  In celebration of the centenary of her birth this year, the Library of America has published the first comprehensive collection of her poems.  Professor Rubenfeld, project editor for May Swenson: Collected Poems, will talk about Swenson’s interest in science and technology and how that interest found its way into poems about moon walks, bird migration, wave motion, and the DNA molecule.

Andrew Rubenfeld received his undergraduate training at Clark University and pursued his graduate studies at Hofstra University in Medieval and Renaissance literature and at New York University in American literature.  His doctoral dissertation was on Mark Twain.  He began teaching at Stevens in 1981.  In addition Professor Rubenfeld has been a consulting editor at the Library of America for over a decade.  He has provided scholarship on naturalists such as John James Audubon and Aldo Leopold; in addition he has seen through the press volumes on American immigrant writing, Henry David Thoreau, Mark Twain, Henry James, and, most recently, May Swenson.