James Tate Memorial Reading at Prairie Lights
In Celebration of the release this month of James Tate’s posthumous collection of poems, The Government Lake, Iowa City poets and poetry-lovers will read from his work.
James Tate was born in Kansas City, Missouri, in 1943. He attended The Iowa Writers’ Workshop in the 1960’s where he wrote his highly acclaimed first collection of poems, The Lost Pilot, which won the prestigious Yale Younger Poetry Award when Tate was only 22 years old. He went on to publish seventeen books of poetry, including Worshipful Company of Fletchers, which won the National Book Award in 1994 and Selected Poems, which won the Pulitzer Prize and the William Carlos Williams Award in 1991. He taught for many years at The University of Massachusetts in Amherst, although he returned to teach at The Writers’ Workshop for three semesters in the late 1980’s.
James Tate's work, filled with unexpected turns and deadpan exaggeration, "fanciful and grave, mundane and transcendent" (New York Times), has been among the most defining and significant of our time. In his last collection, written before his death in 2015, Tate's dark humor, his emotional acuity, and his keen ear are on full display in prose poems that are finely constructed, lyrical, and provocative.
With The Government Lake, James Tate reminds us why he is one of the great poets of our age and a true master.