Poet Charles Simic gives reading and free master class tonight at Rollins




As the first event of this year's Winter With the Writers literary festival, poet Charles Simic appears tonight at Bush Auditorium on the campus of Rollins College. From 4-5:30pm, Simic conducts a master class, which is free and open to the public. At 7pm, he'll read, be interviewed onstage, and sign books for the audience. A don't-miss event for lovers of poetry! Simic was named our 15 poet laureate in 2007, and has published more than 20 volumes of poetry.

Learn more about Rollins' Winter With the Writers festival in my Feb. 5 arts feature, "Winter With the Writers showcases a lively mix." Carol Frost, the Rollins professor who oversees WWW each year, sees her brief in booking the festival season as “strik[ing] a balance between excitement and disquiet.” Which is actually a good description of Charles Simic's poetry. Frost says the Pulitzer Prize-winner has "uncanny insights into the human predicament."

Here's a powerful early poem of Simic's; go to the Poetry Foundation website to hear him read it. (Recommended—he has a very engaging voice.)


This strange thing must have crept

Right out of hell.

It resembles a bird’s foot

Worn around the cannibal’s neck.

As you hold it in your hand,

As you stab with it into a piece of meat,

It is possible to imagine the rest of the bird:

Its head which like your fist

Is large, bald, beakless, and blind.

Charles Simic, “Fork” from Charles Simic: Selected Early Poems. Copyright © 1999 by Charles Simic.