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Poetry & Print in Early America

A symposium to mark the publication of A Bibliographical Description of Books and Pamphlets of American Verse Printed from 1610 Through 1820

Held at the American Antiquarian Society and sponsored by the Bibliographical Society of America

September 28, 2012

7:00 PM In Search of Phillis Wheatley
James Russell Wiggins Lecture on the History of the Book in American Culture
Vincent Carretta, Professor of English, University of Maryland

September 29, 2012

8:00 - 9:00 AM Registration, coffee
9:00 Welcoming remarks
9:15 - 10:00 Introductory keynote
Three Tasks of the First Poetry: Announcing Discovery, Invoking Society, and Disclosing History
David Shields, McClintock Professor of Southern Letters, University of South Carolina
10:00 - 10:15 Coffee break
10:15 - 11:30 Collecting Early American Poetry

Robert Fraker, Proprietor, Savoy Books, Lanesboro, MA

Christina Geiger, Director of Fine Books and Manuscripts, Bonhams New York

Chair: Eric Holzenberg, Director, The Grolier Club

11:45 - 1:00 PM Race, Religion, and Early American Poetry

Versifying African Methodism; or, What Did Early African-American Hymnbooks Do?
Christopher Phillips, Assistant Professor of English, Lafayette College

"The Letters All Stand in One Root": Theory and Practice of Multilingualism in Early American Religious Poetry
Patrick Erben, Associate Professor of English, University of West Georgia

Revival Poetry and Race, 1740-1770
Wendy Roberts, Visiting Assistant Professor, Northwestern University

Chair: James N. Green, Librarian, Library Company of Philadelphia

1:00 - 2:15 Lunch
2:15 - 3:30 Poetry in Circulation

The Versified Lives of Unknown Puritans
Meredith Neuman, Associate Professor of English, Clark University

Clericus and the Lunatick
Max Cavitch, Associate Professor of English, University of Pennsylvania

"Of snatching captive souls from satan's paws": A Fundraising Poem for Wheelock's Charity School
Laura Stevens, Associate Professor of English, University of Tulsa

Chair: Michael Winship, Iris Howard Regents Professor of English II, University of Texas at Austin

3:30 - 3:50 Coffee break
3:50 - 5:00 On Writing and Editing A Bibliographical Description of Books and Pamphlets of American Verse Printed from 1610 Through 1820

Introduction: Marcus McCorison, President Emeritus, American Antiquarian Society

David Whitesell, Curator, Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library, University of Virginia

Roger Stoddard, Curator of Rare Books emeritus, Houghton Library, Harvard University

Chair: Gregory Pass, Head of Special Collections, Saint Louis University

5:00 - 6:30 Reception
Goddard-Daniels House

If you have any questions, please contact Paul Erickson, Director of Academic Programs at AAS, at