The College of Liberal Arts kicked off its Homecoming celebration over the weekend with a Dean’s Reception featuring the poetry of Charles Simic and the paintings of John Angelopoulos. The Special Collections room of the Dimond Library was packed with alumni, faculty, students, administrators, staff, and community members.
Angelopoulos is a Portsmouth-based painter who, upon reading Simic’s poetry, said he “saw” the poems and could relate to their darkness and humor. He was inspired to paint what he saw. The show on Friday consisted of 12 of Angelopoulos’s oil paintings, accompanied by the text of the poems on which they were based. Simic read six of the poems.
Simic is professor emeritus of English at UNH but still teaches poetry in the M.F.A. in Writing program. He is considered one of the most prominent poets writing today and has won a number of major literary prizes and honors, among them the Pulitzer Prize, a MacArthur Foundation genius grant, the Griffin International Poetry Prize, the Wallace Stevens Award, the Robert Frost Medal, and the Vilcek Prize in Literature. He was appointed as U.S. Poet Laureate in 2007.