Readings from Middle Distance, the Final Collection of the Late Stanley Plumly

Friday, August 28, 2020 - 7:00pm

Join renowned poets, including David Baker, Kathy Fagan, David Lynn, Maggie Smith, and Ann Townsend, for readings from Middle Distance by Stanley Plumly, in a special tribute evening of the late beloved poetry master.
Kenyon Review and Ohio Poetry Association are Community Partners for this special tribute. The event will be live streamed on Facebook, with questions to the contributors coming from the Facebook audience.

Middle Distance is a probing and commanding final volume from a master poet facing his own mortality. The collection will be issued from W. W. Norton & Company on August 18, 2020.

After a diagnosis of cancer, acclaimed poet Stanley Plumly found himself in the middle distance—looking back at his childhood in Ohio and a rich lifetime of family and friends, while gazing into a future shaped by the press of mortality.

In Middle Distance, his final collection, he pushed onward into new territory in extended hybrid forms and revelatory prose pieces. Blending documentary and memoir with his signature Keatsian lyricism, he contemplated at every turn the horizons of his life.

From “White Rhino”:

How long a life is too long,
as I take my time from here to there, the one world
dried- out distances, nose, horn, my great head lifted down,
the tonnage of my heart almost more than I can carry . . .

Stanley Plumly (1939—2019) authored eleven books of poetry, including the National Book Award Finalist Old Heart, and four books of nonfiction. His honors include the Paterson Poetry Prize and Truman Capote Award, and he was Maryland’s Poet Laureate from 2009 to 2018. He was one of the most important lyric poets to come from Ohio. Born in Barnesville, Plumly received his undergraduate degree from Wilmington College, and graduate degrees from Ohio University, where he also taught for a number of years and helped found the Ohio Review.