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November 22, 2006


GREAT BARRINGTON, MA — Peter Filkins will give a Seminar Lecture titled "Where is Dante?" on Nov. 27 at 7 p.m. in the McConnell Theater of the Daniel Arts Center. The event is free and open to the public.

Dante's Divine Comedy will be a focus of discussion by Filkins, who is a faculty member in literature and creative writing at Simon's Rock. Filkins, a writer and translator, has been widely recognized for his work as both. His translation of the complete poems of Ingeborg Bachmann, Songs in Flight, was named an outstanding translation in 1994 by the American Literary Translators Association. His first book of poems, What She Knew, appeared in 1998, and his translation of a novel by Alois Hotschnig, Leonardo's Hands, was published in 1999. In 2002, his second book of poems, After Homer, appeared, and in 2006, an expanded edition of Bachmann's poems, Darkness Spoken, was published by Zephyr Press.

His poetry, translation and criticism have appeared in numerous journals, including the New Republic, Paris Review, Partisan Review, Iowa Review, Los Angeles Times Book Review and the New York Times Book Review. He has also held residencies at Yaddo, the Millay Colony and MacDowell. In the Spring of 2005, he was the Commerzbank Fellow at the American Academy in Berlin. Peter Filkins also coordinates the Poetry and Fiction Series at Simon's Rock, where he has taught since 1988.

The Seminar Lecture Series is part of the First and Second Year Seminar – cornerstones of education at Simon's Rock College – and offers talks on great texts and ideas. The Seminar Lecture Series supplements courses that first and second year students are required to take: "First Year Seminar: The Examined Life;" and the "Sophomore Seminar: Voices Against the Chorus."

"The First Year Seminar: The Examined Life" is a two-semester course that focuses on themes of self-discovery, the relationship of the individual and society, and the nature of values and responsibility. Readings for the course include Sophocles' Oedipus Cycle, Plato's The Last Days of Socrates, Dante's Inferno, Shakespeare's Hamlet, Mozart's Don Giovanni, Austen's Pride and Prejudice and a wide variety of supplementary works.

"The Sophomore Seminar: Voices Against the Chorus" explores how 19th- and 20th-century thinkers confronted the accepted order of things, how they challenged accepted ideas, and how they constructed radically different conceptions of the world. Readings include Darwin's The Descent of Man, Marx and Engels' The Communist Manifesto, Nietzsche's The Genealogy of Morals, Freud's Civilization and Its Discontents, Forster's A Passage to India, DuBois' The Souls of Black Folk, Woolf's To the Lighthouse, and Kafka's The Trial.

Simon's Rock Media Contact:
Briee Della Rocca: 413 644-4706