Willis Barnstone is a poet, translator, biblical scholar, memoirist, anthologist, teacher, and painter. If we are to grasp his greatest contribution to culture over the course of his professional life, we can focus on his role first and foremost as a poet – a lover of words, both his own and those of others, and on what he believes are sacred words from our earliest written records down to present day mystics and poets. What he is carrying across borders is no less than what his fellow poet Robert Bly calls “News of the Universe.” To read his bibliography is like reading the card catalog from the Ancient Alexandrian Library. He describes one of the oldest poems from the Bible, “Let there be Light,” and says that reading is like having a conversation with men and women of other centuries. (hosted by Phil Cousineau)
Willis Barnstone is a poet, translator, biblical scholar, memoirist, anthologist, teacher, and painter. He is a former O’Connor Professor of Greek at Colgate University, Distinguished Professor of Comparative Literature at Indiana University, a Guggenheim Fellow, and winner of numerous literary awards, including the Emily Dickinson, Lannon, and W. H. Auden awards. In 2015 he was recipient of the Fred Cody Lifetime Achievement Award. He is translator of the Greek Lyric Poets, a literary historical version of the New Testament, and poets as diverse as Sappho, Rainer Maria Rilke, Jorge Luis Borges, Antonio Machado, Wang Wei, and St. John of the Cross.