For Immediate Release —February 19, 2009
David Irwin
Media Relations Manager
(585) 245-5516


Yale Poet J.D. McClatchy to Present SUNY Geneseo Phi Beta Kappa Lecture

GENESEO, N.Y. — Renowned poet and librettist J. D. McClatchy, professor of English at Yale, will present “Words into Music:   Adventures in the World of Opera” as SUNY Geneseo’s Phi Beta Kappa lecturer March 4.  The lecture is set for 1:30 p.m. in Newton Hall Room 204 and is open to the public without charge.

McClatchy has written six collections of poems including “Hazmat,” which was nominated for the 2003 Pulitzer Prize.  Other collections include “Scenes from Another Life,” “The Rest of the Way,” “Stars Principal,” “Mercury Dressing” and “Ten Commandments.”  He also has composed 13 libretti for composers like William Schuman, Ned Rorem, Lorin Maazel, Lowell Liebermann, and Elliot Goldenthal. 

McClatchy’s fiction and translations are regularly published in The New Yorker, The New York Times Book Review, The Paris Review, The New Republic, and other publications.  He also has edited numerous books and has been editor of The Yale Review since 1991.

McClatchy was educated at Georgetown and Yale, where he received his doctorate in 1974. Before teaching at Yale, he taught at Princeton, Columbia, UCLA, and Johns Hopkins University.  He served as a chancellor of the Academy of American Poets.  In 1998, he was elected a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the following year was elected to membership in the American Academy of Arts and Letters.   The State of Connecticut awarded McClatchy the 2000 Governor’s Arts Medal. 

McClatchy’s presentation is sponsored by the SUNY Geneseo Phi Beta Kappa chapter.  Founded in 1776, Phi Beta Kappa is the nation’s oldest undergraduate honors society.  Geneseo is the only undergraduate college in the SUNY system to be granted a chapter of Phi Beta Kappa.  The Alpha Delta of New York chapter was installed in January, 2004.


This release was written by Carey Burgess, a senior communications major, serving as a media relations intern in the Office of College Communications.