A conversation with John Hollander and Esther Schor
The 2005 Joy Ungerleider Lecture
Emma Lazarus, poet, radical ideologue of Jewish national destiny, and fifth-generation New Yorker, was the first American-Jewish writer to win international fame. Trumpeted during her life by Emerson, Turgenev, and Browning, with her death in 1887, at age 38, everything else she ever did was eclipsed by just a few words very prominently displayed-engraved on the base of the Statue of Liberty in New York harbor. As she became world-famous for her "huddled masses," the rest of her work disappeared from consciousness. Join Hollander and Schor, leading scholars of 19th century poetry and prominent poets themselves, as they delve into the obscurity and reclaim what we have mislaid.
Poet and MacArthur fellow John Hollander is Sterling Professor Emeritus of English at Yale and the editor of American Poetry: The Nineteenth Century (1993), American Wits: An Anthology of Light Verse (2003), and Emma Lazarus: Selected Poems (2005), all for The Library of America. Poet Esther Schor is Professor of English at Princeton and author of Bearing the Dead: The British Culture of Mourning From the Enlightenment to Victoria. Her biography of Emma Lazarus will appear next year.
The Joy Ungerleider Lecture, an annual program of the 42nd Street Library's Dorot Jewish Division, is made possible by the support of the Dorot Foundation.