Cassandra Float Can

December 2, 2009 (Wednesday) / 7:00 pm8:00 pm

Auditorium, 2nd floor, ARCH Building, 3601 Locust Walk

Cassandra Float Can

Anne Carson

Professor of Classical Studies, Comparative Literature, and English
University of Michigan

Described as the “most exciting poet writing in English today,” classical scholar and MacArthur Fellow Anne Carson connects ancient drama to modern philosophy and painting in her performance piece, Cassandra Float Can. The work links Aeschylus’s Cassandra, doomed to speak the truth and not be believed, with other witnesses in turbulent times: the phenomenologist Edmund Husserl, the “anarchitect” Gordon Matta-Clark, and the translator of ancient texts herself, Anne Carson.

Her poetry casts a cold eye on the wrinkled cloth of the human soul and discerns a range of human maneuvers most of us never glimpse. —Meghan O'Rourke, Slate

A professor of the classics, with background in classical languages, comparative literature, anthropology, history, and commercial art, Anne Carson blends ideas and themes from many fields in her writing. She frequently references, modernizes, and translates Greek mythology, blending forms of poetry, essay, prose, criticism, translation, dramatic dialogue, fiction, and nonfiction.

Her books of poetry include The Beauty of the Husband: A Fictional Essay in 29 Tangos (2001), winner of the T.S. Eliot Prize for Poetry; Economy of the Unlost (1999); Autobiography of Red (1998), shortlisted for the National Book Critics Circle Award and the T.S. Eliot Prize; Plainwater: Essays and Poetry (1996); Glass, Irony and God (1995), shortlisted for the Forward Prize; and Goddesses And Wise Women (1992).

Carson is also the translator of If Not, Winter: Fragments of Sappho (2002), and Grief Lessons: Four Plays by Euripedes (2006), and is the author of Eros the Bittersweet (1998). In spring 2009, the New York-based Classic Stage Company produced in repetory An Oresteia, Carson's translations of Agamemnon by Aiskhylos, Electra by Sophokles; and Orestes by Euripides.

In addition to a MacArthur "Genius" Award, Carson has received the Lannan Award, the Pushcart Prize, the Griffin Trust Award for Excellence in Poetry, and a Guggenheim Fellowship. She recently moved from McGill University to the University of Michigan, where she teaches Classics, Comparative Literature, and English.