LRU News

Pulitzer Prize Winning Poet To Speak at Lenoir-Rhyne

Tue Mar 19 2013

HICKORY, N.C. — The next speaker in the Lenoir-Rhyne University Visiting Writers Series will be Philip Schultz. Schultz, Pulitzer Prize-winning poet and author of My Dyslexia will read on April 4 at 7 p.m. in the P.E. Monroe Auditorium on campus. No tickets or reservations are required.  The event is co-sponsored by the Patrick Beaver Learning Resource Center.

One of American poetry’s longtime masters of the art, Philip Schultz is a Pulitzer Prize-winning poet and the founder/director of The Writers Studio, a private school for fiction and poetry writing based in New York City. He is the author of several collections of poetry, including Failure (Harcourt, 2007), winner of the 2008 Pulitzer Prize. These poems give voice to failures of many kinds and yet they are full of tenderness, empathy, and heartbreaking honesty, giving equal praise to the joy of life. His other collections include The God of Loneliness: New and Selected Poems (2010), Living in the Past (2004), and The Holy Worm of Praise (2002), all published by Harcourt. He is also the author of Deep Within the Ravine (Viking, 1984), recipient of The Academy of American Poets Lamont Prize; Like Wings (Viking, 1978), winner of an American Academy & Institute of Arts and Letters Award and a National Book Award Finalist; and the poetry chapbook, My Guardian Angel (Stein, 1986). He has also published a memoir entitled My Dyslexia (Norton, 2011).

Schultz’s work has been published in The New Yorker, Partisan Review, The New Republic, The Paris Review, Slate, and other magazines. He is the recipient of a Fulbright Fellowship and a 2005 Guggenheim Fellowship in poetry. He also received a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship in Poetry (1981), a New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship in Poetry (1985), as well as the Levinson Prize from Poetry magazine.

Despite winning the Pulitzer Prize in 2008 for his poetry collection Failure, Schultz could never shake the feeling of being exiled to the “Dummy Class” in school, where he was largely ignored by his teachers and peers and not expected to succeed. Not until many years later, when his oldest son was diagnosed with the same condition did Schultz realize that he was dyslexic. In this moving memoir, Schultz traces his difficult childhood and his new understanding of his early years following his realization. In doing so, he shows how a boy who did not learn how to read until he was eleven went on to become a prize winning poet by force of sheer determination. His balancing act—life as member of a family with not one, but two dyslexics, countered by his intellectual and creative successes as a writer—reveals an inspiring story of the strengths of the human mind.

The Visiting Writers Series is free to the public thanks to the support of sponsors. This year’s sponsors include Barnes and Noble Booksellers, Crowne Plaza, NC Arts Council, Our State Magazine, Patrick Beaver Library, Patrick Beaver Learning Resource Center, United Arts Council of Catawba County, WDAV 88.9fm, and WFAE 90.3fm.

For additional information on each author and on the entire Visiting Writers Series at Lenoir-Rhyne University, go to or call 828-328-7077.

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