The University of Washington has announced that Charles Simic will give the 2018 Theodore Roethke Memorial Poetry Reading on April 12.

The annual reading honors the acclaimed poet who from 1947 to 1963 was a professor in the UW English Department. Roethke taught a generation of post-war poets, including David Wagoner, Richard Hugo, Tess Gallagher and James Wright.

Simic, a poet and essayist, was born in Yugoslavia in 1938, immigrated to the United States in 1954 and published his first poem at 21 in 1959. Since 1967 he has published 20 books of his own poetry, including “New and Selected Poems (1962-2012)” (2013) and “The Lunatic” (2015). He has also published seven books of essays, a memoir and many volumes of translations of Serbian, Croatian and Slovenian poetry.

He is the recipient of many prizes and awards, most notably the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry in 1990 for his collection “The World Doesn’t End,” and was a finalist for the prize in 1986 and 1987. He has also received the Griffin Prize, a MacArthur Fellowship and the Wallace Stevens Award, all prestigious honors for poets. He served in 2007-2008 as the Poet Laureate of the United States. He is a professor emeritus of English at the University of New Hampshire, where he has taught since 1973.

The reading, which is free, will be at 7:00pm on Thursday, April 12, 2018, at the University of Washington in room 120 of Kane Hall. A reception will follow.

on poetry

May 25, 2016

Theodore Roethke photo by Mary Randlett“May my silences become more accurate.”
Theodore Roethke
(May 25, 1908 – August 1, 1963)

Alice Fulton will be the featured poet for the 53rd Annual Theodore Roethke Memorial Poetry Reading, Friday, May 27, 2016, 8:00pm at the University of Washington Roethke Auditorium (130 Kane Hall). The reading is free and open to the public.
. . . . .
photo by Mary Randlett, 1963

do you own one?

December 28, 2015

Theodore Roethke - Open House

The following comes from the Friends of Theodore Roethke:

When the great America poet Theodore Roethke published his first book, Open House, each of the 1,000 copies was hand numbered.

In celebration of the book’s upcoming 75th Anniversary, The Theodore Roethke Museum wants to hear from the owners of these important books.

Our non-profit group is conducting a census and storytelling project around Open House. Our goal is to ignite conversation about Roethke’s poetry. The fact that each copy of Open House is hand numbered gives each a unique personality. We’d like to hear about the books from their owners and what Roethke poem most resonates with them.

We plan to feature at least two Open House stories per month on our Facebook page and web site during 2016.

The winner of the 1954 Pulitzer Prize for poetry, Roethke (1908-63) ranks among the most accomplished and influential poets and poetry teachers of his generation. His most famous poems include My Papa’s Waltz and the Greenhouse poems series from his landmark book, The Lost Son.

If you are a poetry lover or book collector and have a copy of Open House, the Museum would like to hear from you. If you are a bookseller it’s a great way to get your copies in front of a host of Roethke readers.

Please send a photo of the book (along with you, if possible!) your copy number and your favorite Roethke poem. If you’re shy and don’t want to be featured, that’s fine, But we’d love to hear from you if you have a copy and if so, which one.

Please send the information to

Participants whose work is featured on-line will receive a limited edition 5×7 edition Roethke art print.

on poetry

May 25, 2015

Roethke by Mary Randlett“May my silences become more accurate.”
Theodore Roethke
(May 25, 1908 –
August 1, 1963)
. . . . .
photo by Mary Randlett,
Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art