By MIKE DUNHAM
Kay Ryan, who recently completed a two year tenure as the U.S. Poet Laureate, will give a poetry reading at 7 p.m. on Saturday, July 17, at River City Books in Soldotna.
Born in 1945 in California, where she has taught English at the College of Marin (County), Ryan has received numerous awards and had her work published in major collections, including Harold Bloom’s “The Best of the Best American Poetry 1988-1997.”
Her poetry, usually brief, has been compared to the work of Emily Dickinson and Marianne Moore. Anthologist J.D. McClatchy called them “compact, exhilarating, strange affairs.” Poet Dana Gioia praised Ryan’s “magnificently compressed poetry” for the way “it elicits and rewards the reader’s intellect, imagination, and emotions.” He cited her as signalling “a return to concision and intensity.”
Ryan became the 16th U.S. Poet Laureate in July, 2008, and served until May of this year. W.S. Merwin of Hawaii assumed the post on July 1.
Ryan has been in Alaska vacationing in Homer. River City Books is located at 43977 Sterling Highway. If coming from Anchorage, take a left at the Kenai Spur Highway (“the Soldotna Y”).