MPS: W.D. Ehrhart & Nathalie Anderson


Tuesday, May 10, 7pm – Poetry

The Moonstone Poetry Series Presents

W.D. Ehrhart & Nathalie Anderson

Nathalie F. Anderson’s first book, Following Fred Astaire, won the 1998 Washington Prize from The Word Works. Her poems have been singled out for prizes and special recognition from the Joseph Campbell Society, The Cumberland Poetry Review, Inkwell Magazine, The Madison Review, New Millennium Writings, Nimrod, North American Review, and Southern Anthology, and have also appeared in APR’s Philly Edition, Cimarron Review, Cross Connect, Denver Quarterly, DoubleTake, The Louisville Review, Natural Bridge, The Paris Review, Prairie Schooner, The Recorder, Southern Poetry Review, Spazio Humano, and in the Ulster Museum’s collection of visual art and poetry, A Conversation Piece. A 1993 Pew Fellow, Anderson currently serves as Poet in Residence at the Rosenbach Museum and Library, and she teaches at Swarthmore College, where she is a Professor in the Department of English Literature and directs the Program in Creative Writing.

Nathalie Anderson’s poetry brings to my mind what John Logan’s called “a ballet of the ear.” She appreciates rich, textured language, and has a consciousness of sound as well as movement, elements more rare that you might think in contemporary poets. Her investigations of phobias, in particular, are smart, witty, and—haunting’  –Louis McKee

“Philadelphia poets owe Nathalie Anderson endless thanks for her tireless dedication to all that we do here in our city. No one has ever stepped forward with such indivisible scope in such a divisible environment as the poetry of Philadelphia. Her support and sincerity are the lessons for all poets to shift and widen the world view as much and as often as possible. Nothing but the best of thanks to Nathalie Anderson.” CAConrad

William Daniel Ehrhart was born on September 30th, 1948, in Roaring Spring, Pennsylvania, the third of four sons born to Rev. John H. Ehrhart, a Protestant minister, and Evelyn Marie (Conti) Ehrhart, who, after raising her children, became a special education teacher. Soon after Ehrhart was born, the family moved to Lewisburg, PA, and then in 1955 to Perkasie, PA, where John and Evelyn remained for the rest of their lives.

Immediately upon graduating from Pennridge High School in June 1966, Ehrhart joined the U.S. Marine Corps, serving three years, including 13 months in Vietnam. He subsequently earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees, and (at the age of 52) a doctorate. Over the years, he has held a wide variety of jobs, from merchant seaman to newspaper reporter to high school teacher. Through the 1990s, he made his living primarily as a writer and speaker, but early in the new millenium he returned to fulltime high school teaching.

Married since 1981 to the former Anne Senter Gulick, he has lived in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, since 1985. Their daughter Leela was born in 1986.

Ehrhart began writing when he was 15 years old, and has been writing more or less continuously ever since. His first published work, a poem about Swarthmore College, appeared seven years later in the Chronicle of Higher Education, and the following year eight of his poems were included in Winning Hearts and Minds: War Poems by Vietnam Veterans. Exclusively a poet until he was almost 30, he has since written and published a wide variety of nonfiction prose from 400-word newspaper commentaries to 40-page scholarly essays to 400-page personal narratives.

The influence of Ehrhart’s encounter with the Vietnam War can readily be seen in his writing, but though he is known primarily as a “Vietnam War poet,” in fact his subject matter ranges widely. He has written essays and articles on such topics as radio disc jockeys, tugboats on the Delaware River, the Internal Revenue Service, and a variety of modern and contemporary poets from William Wantling to Daniel Hoffman. His wife and daughter are major sources of inspiration for his poetry. His poems also reflect his respect for nature, his love of friends, his active engagement with the world around him, and his consternation at the human condition.

Posted in Moonstone Arts Center Events, Poetry Series
1 Comment » for MPS: W.D. Ehrhart & Nathalie Anderson
  1. This looks like it’ll be a good reading…