Lexington, Virginia • February 24, 2011
Steven Ealy will discuss corruption, rhetoric and the limitations of political leadership in the third in the Johnson Lecture Series on Thursday, March 10 followed by a March 17 presentation on poetry by R.T. Smith and Sarah Kennedy.
Each of the lectures, held in the Hillel House Multipurpose Room at 7 p.m., is free and open to the public. They are funded in part by W&L's Johnson Program for Leadership and Integrity.
A senior fellow at Liberty Fund, Inc., Steven Ealy will speak about "Robert Penn Warren's ‘All the Kings Men' and the Political Leadership of Willie Stark." Corruption, rhetoric and the limitations of political leadership are among the themes of Ealy's talk. He will compare and contrast the three intertwining stories discussed in "All the King's Men."
Ealy, who received his Ph.D. in political science from the University of Georgia, is the author of "Communications, Speech, and Politics: Habermas and Political Analysis" and a number of articles dealing with Robert Penn Warren. He also edited "Joseph Conrad: Master of Illusion," a previously unpublished essay by Robert Penn Warren, for publication in "The American Oxonian." He serves on the Political Science Advisory Council for Furman University, is a contributing editor of "Conversations on Philanthropy" and a member of the Advisory Editorial Board for "Society."
Award-winning poets R.T. Smith, professor at W&L, and Sarah Kennedy, professor at Mary Baldwin College, will lead a seminar discussion and reading with commentary on "Desperate Times and Desperate Measures: Poetry Out of the Ivory Tower?" Their presentation will explore how literary genres with origins in private experience are meant to take readers to a public experience, especially wars and uprisings.
Smith is W&L's Writer-in-Residence and is also editor of Shenandoah. He is the author of a dozen books including "Uke Rivers Delivers" and "The Calaboose Epistles" and the forthcoming book of stories "Sherburne." Smith's most recent book of poetry, "Outlaw Style," earned him his second Library of Virginia Poetry Book of the Year Award. He is the recipient of the Governor's Award for the Arts in both Alabama and Virginia and received fellowships from the NEA and Arts International, among others.
His work has been featured in "Best American Short Stories," "Best American Poetry" and "Best American Mystery Stories." He was educated at Georgia Tech, the University of North Carolina Charlotte and Appalachian State University, and was a longtime Writer-in-Residence at Auburn before coming to W&L.
Kennedy is the author of six books of poems including "Home Remedies," "A Witch's Dictionary," "Flow Blue" and "Double Exposure." Individual poems, essays and reviews have appeared in literary journals including "Prairie Schooner," "Arts & Letters," "VQR" and "The Southern Review." Kennedy is the co-editor of the anthology Common Wealth Contemporary Poets of Virginia," and is a contributing editor for "Pleiades" and "West Branch."
Kennedy has been awarded the Paterson Prize, the Strousse Award, a Virginia Commission for the Arts grant and a National Endowment for the Arts Award. Chair of the English department at Mary Baldwin College, Kennedy holds an M.F.A. from Vermont College and a Ph.D. from Purdue University.
The fifth and final Johnson Lecture will be on Thursday, March 31, and features ohn Kirby, department of classics at the University of Miami in a presentation titled, "Why Vampires?"