Sunday, January 16 at at 9 p.m. – The Poet and His Dyslexia
(Rochester, NY) – Poet and Rochester native Philip Schultz speaks with host of Writer's Voice Francesca Rheannon about his poetry, his teaching method of writing — and his dyslexia in The Poet and His Dyslexia, airing Sunday, January 16 at 9 p.m. on AM 1370/FM-HD 91.5-2. The broadcast is part of Dialogue on Disability: The Herman & Margaret Schwartz Community Series, a partnership between WXXI and Al Sigl Community of Agencies that stimulates community dialogue about the abilities of people with disabilities.
Schultz won the 2008 Pulitzer Prize for poetry for his book about his father, Failure. Ironically, that book, published when Schultz was 63, brought him a measure of success and fame that had eluded him throughout decades of writing verse, including five previous volumes of poetry. His new collection of poems, The God of Loneliness, brings together poems written across the span of those decades, from 1978 through 2009.
Schultz’s themes center around family, especially the immigrant Jewish family he grew up in in Rochester, New York. His larger than life father — who held the record in New York for the most failed businesses, Schultz claims — is a major inspiration. But so are his grandmother with her acerbic pronouncements on life, his Uncle Jake, who dreamed big while running the projector at a local movie theater, and, perhaps his best-loved character, his guardian angel Stein.
But Schultz has a new inspiration for his writing these days, and he’s expressing it for the first time not in poetry, but in memoir. It’s his dyslexia, which he discovered when one of his own children was diagnosed with the learning disability. He’s much engaged in writing the memoir now, entitled My Dyslexia — it will be published by Norton Press.
Dialogue on Disability: The Herman & Margaret Schwartz Community Series is a week-long outreach initiative designed to encourage community conversations about the perspectives and abilities of people with disabilities. At the heart of this initiative is programming broadcast on WXXI-TV and AM 1370 that celebrates the amazing lives of people with disabilities. Dialogue on Disability runs January 16-23. Dialogue on Disability is made possible thanks to support from the Fred L. Emerson Foundation.
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