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Exhibit Highlights

burns library

Alert to the Sacredness of Life: A Celebration of Paul Mariani's Works

Original Exhibit Fall 2005

Alert to the Sacredness of Life: A Celebration of Paul Mariani's Works marks the acquisition by the Burns Library of the papers of Paul Mariani, a widely acclaimed poet and professor of English at Boston College. He is a Catholic poet, and religious themes are present in all of his works. The exhibit includes books, manuscripts, correspondence, posters, illustrations and other materials showing Mariani as a poet, a poetry editor, a biographer of poets, a memoirist, a lyricist and a correspondent (by hand and by email). The opening of the exhibit coincided with the launch of Mariani's new book of poems, Deaths and Transfigurations, which is illustrated by Barry Moser. Parts of the exhibit reflect the long collaboration between Mariani and Barry Moser.




Deaths and Transfigurations (Paraclete Press) is Paul Mariani's sixth work of poetry and his first new collection in nine years. Barry Moser, a renowned book designer and illustrator, created a series of original engravings that reflect upon major themes in the poems. Many of Moser's originals pieces are on display in the exhibit.





The Paul Mariani papers are especially rich in correspondence with many noted writers, including Robert Bly, Robert Creeley, Seamus Heaney, Philip Levine, Robert Pinksy, Dave Smith and Richard Wilbur. Here Mariani is pictured to the right of poet Philip Levine, a long-time friend and regular correspondent.





The poetry of Rev. Gerald Manley Hopkins, SJ has long interested Paul Mariani. In 1970, he published A Commentary on the Complete Poems of Gerard Manley Hopkins (Cornell University Press) and is presently working on a new biographical work. Reproduced here is a portrait of Hopkins drawn by Mariani in 1967.



For Further Study: The Burns Library holds an extensive collection of Paul Mariani's personal papers. In addition, both the Burns Library and O'Neill Library house various publications of the poet. Consult one of the library staff for more information.


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