Catching Up with A.E. Stallings

Last fall we mentioned A.E. Stallings and her receiving of a MacArthur Grant:MacArthur Genius: A.E. StallingsOnlineAthens (Georgia) has a bit of info on her:

Noted poet A.E. Stallings traveled from Athens, Greece to Athens, Ga. this weekend for readings and other events in town and on the University of Georgia campus.

Stallings, who studied classics at UGA, now lives in Athens, Greece, and last year was named a MacArthur Foundation Fellow, the genius award that carries it with an unrestricted grant of half a million dollars.

The public part of Stallings’ visit begins today at 7:30 p.m. with a poetry reading at Ciné, 234 West Hancock Ave.

She will be joined by two other poets with Athens connections — retired UGA English professor Coleman Barks, who’s known around the world for his translations of the Persian poet Rumi, and UGA doctoral student Ida Stewart, whose book “GLOSS” won last year’s Perugia Press Prize for the first or second book by a woman.

On Monday, Stallings will be on the UGA campus for a series of events. At 11 a.m. she will be in Room 214 of the Miller Learning Center for a roundtable discussion on the poetics of translation; at noon in the Miller Learning Center reading room, Stallings will be the guest of honor at a lunch that is open to the public.

At 2:30 p.m., she will give a presentation in the UGA Chapel, also open to the public, and will be honored again with a reception in nearby Demosthenian Hall.

A native of Decatur, Stallings got an undergraduate degree in classics at UGA in 1990 and later a master’s degree at Oxford University. She is now director of the poetry program at the Athens Centre in Greece.

Stallings’ many awards include the James Dickey Award and the Puschcart Prize. Last year she won a Guggenheim Fellowship, in addition to the MacArthur Foundation Fellowship.

“A.E. Stallings is a poet and translator mining the classical world and traditional poetic techniques to craft works that evoke startling insights about contemporary life,” according to the MacArthur Foundation’s biographical information on Stallings. “In both her original poetry and translations, Stallings exhibits a mastery of highly structured forms (such as sonnets, couplets, quatrains, and sapphics) and consummate skill in creating new combinations of meter, rhyme, and syntax into distinctive, emotionally compelling verse.”

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MacArthur Genius: A.E. Stallings

From the MacArthur Foundation’s site … always nice when a Classicist is recognized:

A. E. Stallings is a poet and translator mining the classical world and traditional poetic techniques to craft works that evoke startling insights about contemporary life. In both her original poetry and translations, Stallings exhibits a mastery of highly structured forms (such as sonnets, couplets, quatrains, and sapphics) and consummate skill in creating new combinations of meter, rhyme, and syntax into distinctive, emotionally compelling verse. Trained in classical Latin and Greek and currently living in Athens, she brings a wide knowledge of Greco-Roman literature, art, and mythology to bear on her imaginative explorations of contemporary circumstances and concerns. In Hapax (2006), Stallings imbues figures and events from classical drama and mythology with a modern sensibility. “First Love,” written as a multiple-choice quiz, intertwines the Persephone myth with a chilling account of infatuation, and “XII Klassikal Lymnaeryx” emphasizes the satiric edge to Greek myth through a series of limericks in witty, unexpected diction. For her ambitious translation of De Rerum Natura (The Nature of Things, 2007), Stallings rendered Lucretius’s epic-length treatise on the nature of reality into rhyming fourteeners. The unusual meter and colloquial language she employs capture every cadence of Lucretius’s enthusiasm for his subject while also making the complexities of his argument easily understandable. Through her technical dexterity and graceful fusion of content and form, Stallings is revealing the timelessness of poetic expression and antiquity’s relevance for today.

A. E. Stallings received an A.B. (1990) from the University of Georgia and an M.St. (1992) from the University of Oxford. Her additional works include the poetry collection Archaic Smile (1999) and poems and essays in such publications as Poetry, the Atlantic Monthly, the Hudson Review, and the Yale Review. She also serves as director of the poetry program at the Athens Centre in Athens, Greece

In the news:

Folks You Didn’t Know (maybe) Had Classics Degrees

This list was formerly my Delicious bookmarks, but since Delicious seems to be on-again, off-again, it seems useful to collect these all here. I know there are many, many more and I’ll add them if I get a chance. If you know of any ‘obvious’ ones I’m missing, please drop me a line!

Daniel Levin (Author of The Last Ember; BA in Greek and Roman Civ from UMichigan)

C.S. Lewis

Thomas Cahill (Author of assorted history tomes)

Norman Clyde (mountaineer; studied Classics at Geneva College)

John Layfield (WWE wrestler; his degree from Abilene Christian University is in Ancient History)

Pat Meehan (US Congressman/former NHL official; majored in Classics at Bowdoin)

Susan Greenfield/Baroness Greenfield (read Classics at Oxford prior to her neurosurgery career)

Lynn Sherr (ABC Journalist; Degree in Greek from Wellesley)

Porter Goss (former head of the CIA; degree in Ancient Greek from Yale)

Martha Lane Fox (daughter of Robin Lane Fox; dotcom millionaire type; studied Ancient History)

P.G. Wodehouse (comic author; degree in Classics from Oxford) [degree not achieved; see comments]

Peter Weller (Robocop; MA in Roman and Renaissance Art from Syracuse)

J.K. Rowling (author of some famous series about a boy wizard; not sure if she completed a degree but did study Classics at Exeter)

Ruth Padel (British author/poet; studied Classics at Lady Margaret Hall Oxford)

Nick Owen (BBC Broadcaster; Classics degree from Leeds)

Chris Martin (Lead singer of Coldplay; degree in Greek and Latin from UCL)

Anthony James Leggett (Nobel Prize winner for Physics; initial degree was in Classics from Balliol/Oxford)

Martha Kearney (BBC Radio presenter; studied Classics at St Anne’s College, Oxford)

Charles Geschke (co-founder of Adobe systems; BA in Classics from Xavier)

William Cohen (former US Secretary of Defense; BA in Latin from Bowdoin)

Jerry Brown (Governor of California; BA in Classics from UCal Berkeley)

James Baker (former US Secretary of State: BA in Classics from Princeton)

John Buchan (Scottish Novelist; Canadian Governor General; studied Classics at UGlasgow and Oxford)

Boris Johnson (Mayor of London; degree in Classics from Balliol)

Gough Whitlam (former Prime Minister of Australia; degree in Classics from USydney)

William Weld (former governor of Massachusetts; AB in Classics from Harvard College)

Teller (Penn’s silent sidekick; not sure if he has a degree from Amherst College but he did teach Latin at the high school level)

Robert Greene (not sure about this one)

A.E. Stallings (author/poet; AB in Classics from UGeorgia)

Nathaniel Fick (director of the  Center for a New American Security; degree in Classics from Dartmouth)

Lian Dolan (American broadcaster; BA in Classics from Williamette)

Tim O’Reilly (computer manual (etc.) guru; BA in Classics from Harvard College)

Dale Kildee (soon to be former US Congressman from Michigan; not sure what his BA is in, but he went on to teach Latin)

*** folks wondering about the Power, Ambition, Glory references might want to check out the special feature that was in Forbes Magazine once upon a time:

Other such lists (which overlap and will possibly be assimilated one day when they’re checked):