Kimon Friar Lecture at Deree Library

Langdon Hammer, professor of English at Yale University, will deliver the ninth Kimon Friar Lecture in Neo-Hellenic Arts and Letters at the American College of Greece next Wednesday, May 28. Hammer is the authorized biographer of the American poet James Merrill, and his lecture «Masks of the Poet: Kimon Friar and James Merrill» explores the complex relationship between the poet and his mentor.Friar was born in Turkey in 1911, went to the United States at an early age and became a poet, anthologist, editor and teacher. He came to Greece in 1946 and began translating Greek poetry. His translations, essays and articles were greatly influential in making Greek literature known abroad and he won numerous awards for his work. Merrill, born in New York City in 1926, began writing poems in childhood and was already an accomplished poet when he met Friar, who urged him to visit Greece, which he did in 1950. He spent part of each year in Athens from 1959 to 1979, becoming fluent in Modern Greek. Merrill’s poetry, much of it inspired by his time in Greece, won many awards, including the National Book Award, the Bollingern Prize and the Pulitzer Prize. An exhibition of items from Deree’s rare book collection will accompany the lecture, which will be followed by a reception. Deree Library, 6 Gravias St, Aghia Paraskevi, 8 p.m. Tel. 210.600.9800 ext. 1430.

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