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Discovering Mark Strand

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Plays: 196

Mark Strand’s first appearance at 92nd Street Y’s Unterberg Poetry Center took place back in April of 1965, when he was one of four winners (Robert David Cohen, Jim Harrison and Nancy Sullivan were the others) of that year’s “Discovery” poetry contest, which the Poetry Center continues to oversee to this day. That night, Strand was introduced by Robert Hazel, who praised his poems for “their urgency, released by forms unusually fanciful, unusually skillful. Grace and decorum are valuable qualities here, in their creation of dramatic effects involving a very considerable ironic wit. Best of all, it seems to me, is this poet’s dramatic insight—insinuating and mysterious and with a kind of ardent searching that is very important.”