Shaun Griffin

Bio:

Shaun Griffin is poet, writer, and teacher. He is the co-founder of Community Chest, a non-profit agency which has served children and families in northwestern Nevada since 1991, and has taught a poetry workshop at Northern Nevada Correctional Center for over two decades. Shaun’s latest book of poems, This Is What the Desert Surrenders, was published by Black Rock Press in 2012 and his edited volume about the poet, Hayden Carruth, From Sorrow’s Well, was published by the University of Michigan Press in 2013. Shaun has received numerous awards for his work, including the Governor's Award for Excellence in the Arts in 1995, the Mike O’Callaghan Humanitarian Award in 2004, and the Rosemary McMillan Award for Lifetime Achievement in Art from Sierra Arts Foundation in 2006.

Photo Credit: Scott Goodin

Presentations:

Poets in the West

The Poetry and Legacy of Hayden Carruth:  A Discussion and Reading of Carruth’s Poems


POETS IN THE WEST

There is a healthy tradition of poets - both past and present - whose work is grounded in the American West, and among their number are Nevadans such as Gary Short, Kirk Robertson, Adrian C. Louis, Stephen Shu-Ning Liu, and many more. After editing two volumes of poetry and prose by Nevada writers, plus a lifetime of reading authors from the American West, Shaun Griffin has developed a real appreciation for what it means, and what it takes, to be a poet in this region. In this presentation, he will read from many of his favorites—Gary Snyder, Theodore Roethke, Richard Hugo, Robinson Jeffers, Carolyn Kizer—and discuss their work in the context of living and writing in the vast expanse of the region.

Appropriate Audience:  Adults; high school students.

Duration: C. 1 hour

Presenter Requirements: 

  • Wireless microphone if room/audience large

If equipment indicated above is unavailable, please discuss alternatives with Presenter.

Categories: Literature, Nevada


THE POETRY AND LEGACY OF HAYDEN CARRUTH:  A DISCUSSION AND READING OF CARRUTH’S POEMS

Shaun Griffin’s deeply researched presentation explores the life, work, and legacy of the late poet and critic, Hayden Carruth - a man who left a lasting mark on twentieth century American poetry. Carruth wrote in the shadow of Robert Frost but was different to his better known colleague in almost every way. He lived a very poor existence in rural Vermont for twenty years, where he wrote reviews, edited, and, late at night, created a unique body of poetry. His oeuvre included long narratives about his rural farm neighbors, pieces about inner city dwellers, haikus, and sonnets, as well as two book-length poems, The Sleeping Beauty and Contra Mortem, of which the former is considered his masterwork. Carruth also edited the seminal poetry anthology, The Voice That Is Great Within Us, and was poetry editor at Harper’s, Poetry, and Hudson Review. During his lifetime, he touched hundreds of young poets as a mentor and teacher, and was friends or colleagues with most of the great American poets of his era, including Donald Hall, Galway Kinnell, Wendell Berry, Adrienne Rich, Denise Levertov, and Carolyn Kizer. Many of them contributed essays and reviews to From Sorrow’s Well, a newly published volume about Carruth, edited by Shaun Griffin.

Appropriate Audience:  Adults; high school students.

Duration: C. 1 hour

Presenter Requirements: 

  • Wireless microphone if room/audience large

If equipment indicated above is unavailable, please discuss alternatives with Presenter.

Categories: Literature