University of South Carolina

M.S Merwin

Poet laureate to speak at USCís Thomas Cooper Society dinner

By Peggy Binette,, 803-777-5400

W.S. Merwin, a U.S. poet laureate, will deliver the address at this year’s annual Thomas Cooper Society dinner Friday, April 20, at the University of South Carolina.

Merwin will speak at 6:30 p.m. in the Hollings Special Collections Library. At the dinner he will be awarded the Thomas Cooper Society Medal, the society’s highest literary honor.

Named the U.S. poet laureate for 2010-2011, Merwin has written more than 30 books of poetry, translation and prose. His literary awards are numerous, including two Pulitzer Prizes and a National Book Award. His first book, “A Mask for Janus,” was chosen by W.H. Auden in 1952 for the Yale Younger Poets series, and his most recent poetry collection, “Present Company,” won the Rebekah Johnson Bobbitt National Prize for Poetry.

His other award-winning collections include “Migration: Selected Poems 1951-2001,”which won the National Book Award, and “The Shadow of Sirius,” which was awarded the Pulitzer Prize. In 1999, Merwin was named Poetry Consultant to the Library of Congress, a position held jointly with poets Rita Dove and Louise Glück.

The cost to attend the dinner is $45 for Thomas Cooper Society members and $55 for nonmembers. For tickets, contact Maggie Bergmans at or 803-777-3142.

Merwin will be the 16th recipient of the medal. Previous recipients were Pat Conroy, Joseph Heller, James Dickey, John Updike, William Styron, Ray Bradbury, George Plimpton, John Jakes, Derek Walcott, Joyce Carol Oates, Edward Albee, Norman Mailer, Larry McMurtry and USC’s Matthew Bruccoli and Janette Turner Hospital.

The Thomas Cooper Society is the community organization for Thomas Cooper Library. Established in 1990, the organization provides support for the library’s literary collections and programs. Thomas Cooper, for whom the main library is named, was the second president of South Carolina College, a friend of Thomas Jefferson and a distinguished scientist and political economist.

News and Internal Communications

Posted: 04/12/12 @ 5:00 PM | Updated: 04/12/12 @ 5:10 PM | Permalink



Media Relations

USC Times