Literature stands strong in the ‘Green Room’ at MACC

Matthew Zapruder is a featured speaker at The Merwin Conservancy’s literary salon, the “Green Room” on Dec. 6. -- B.A. VAN SIZE photo

The Merwin Conservancy presents an evening with poet, translator and former poetry editor Matthew Zapruder and Macarthur Fellow, scholar and author Lewis Hyde at 7 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 6 in the McCoy Studio Theater at the Maui Arts & Cultural Center in Kahului.

The duo will share excerpts of their own writing along with works from people who have inspired them (including poet and Conservancy founder W.S. Merwin), as they engage in spontaneous conversation examining the nature of creativity.

Following Zapruder’s and Hyde’s “Green Room” presentation, an intimate Q&A with the audience will take place in a courtyard reception, along with a book fair and refreshments.

Zapruder is the author of four collections of poetry, including most recently, “Come On All You Ghosts,” which was a New York Times Notable Book of the Year, and “Sun Bear” from 2014. Another book, “Why Poetry” written in 2017, is a prose book about reading poetry for a general audience.

His second poetry collection, “The Pajamaist,” won the 2017 William Carlos Williams Award from the Poetry Society of America, and was chosen by Library Journal as one of the top ten poetry volumes of 2006.

Lewis Hyde is another featured speaker at The Merwin Conservancy’s literary salon, the “Green Room” on Dec. 6. -- Photo courtesy Radcliffe Institute

He is an associate professor in the Master of Fine Arts program at Saint Mary’s College of California. He is editor at large at Wave Books, and from 2016-17 held the annually rotating position of editor of the Poetry Column for the New York Times Magazine.

Hyde holds a particular interest, as cultural critic, in the public life of the imagination. His 1983 book, “The Gift,” illuminates and defends the non-commercial portion of artistic practice.

“Trickster Makes the World,” from 1998, uses a group of ancient myths to argue for the kind of disruptive intelligence all cultures need if they are to remain lively, flexible and open to change.

His recent book, “Common as Air,” is a spirited defense of our “cultural commons” — that vast store of ideas, inventions and works of art that we have inherited from the past and continue to enrich in the present.

Hyde is currently at work on “A Primer for Forgetting,” in which he explores situations in which forgetfulness is more useful than memory.

The former director of undergraduate creative writing at Harvard University, Hyde teachs during fall semesters at Kenyon College in Ohio, where he is the Richard L. Thomas Professor of Creative Writing. During the rest of the year, Hyde lives in Cambridge, Mass., where he is an associate of Harvard’s Mahindra Humanities Center.

“The Merwin Conservancy is excited to host this exploration of creative life, in all its complex, intricate, surprising dimensions,” said The Merwin Conservancy’s Executive Director Sonnet Coggins. “I couldn’t dream up more passionate and knowledgeable guides than Lewis Hyde and Matthew Zapruder. Their writing, both about the creative process and born of it, has shifted our understanding of what creativity makes possible.”

Tickets for the “Green Room” are $25, with a $10 rate for students with a valid ID. For tickets and more information, go to the box office, call 242-7469 or visit