The Simpson Center’s office has moved online. Our staff is available by phone and email.
Simpson Center for the Humanities

Video: Brian Reed on Poetry and Birds

Brian Reed

Brian Reed, a preeminent poetry scholar and UW Chair of English, delivered "Sing Along: Poetry and Birds," a Katz Distinguished Lecture in the Humanities on Thursday, March 1, in Kane Hall 210. Watch below.

Birds, like poets, sing, but poets must use words, and that makes all the difference. This talk explores what poets have learned from avians and recounts occasions when they have taken sonic flight together, from Wordsworth, Dickinson, and Frost down to the present. In an era when the world is out of balance and earthʼs species must collaborate to survive, it becomes a pressing necessity to perfect the art of listening with care when nonhumans, too, sing.

Brian ReedReed is Milliman Endowed Chair in the Humanities and Chair of English at the University of Washington. He is a specialist in twentieth- and twenty-first-century poetry and poetics and the author of three books—Nobody's Business: Twenty-First Century Avant-Garde Poetics (2013), Phenomenal Reading: Essays on Modern and Contemporary Poetics (2012), and Hart Crane: After His Lights (2006). Reed is the co-editor of two essay collections, Modern American Poetry: Points of Access (2013) and Situating El Lissitzky: Vitebsk, Berlin, Moscow (2003). He has written widely on image-text relations in poetry, on sound in poetry, and on poetry in relation to other arts.

Reed serves on the Executive Board of the Pacific Ancient & Modern Language Association and for 2017-2018 is president of the Modern Language Association's Poetry & Poetics Forum Executive Committee. He is on the editorial boards of Contemporary Literature, International Journal of Poetry and Poetics (China), Journal of English Language and Literature (South Korea), Journal of Poetics Research (Australia), and Modern Language Quarterly. A new book, A Mine of Intersections: Writing the History of Contemporary American Poetry, is forthcoming from the University of New Mexico Press.