Gregory Pardlo is an American poet, writer, and professor. His poems, reviews, and translations have appeared in The American Poetry Review, Callaloo, Poet Lore, Harvard Review, Ploughshares, and on National Public Radio. His work has been praised for its “language simultaneously urban and highbrow… snapshots of a life that is so specific it becomes universal.” In 2016 Pardlo accepted a tenure-track faculty position with the English department at his alma mater.
Editor Jeremy Flick sat down with Pulitzer Prize winner Gregory Pardlo to talk about his new book "Air Traffic", his poetry, and other interesting things. Original music composed by Evan Flick. Gregory Pardlo's ​collection​ Digest (Four Way Books) won the 2015 Pulitzer Prize for Poetry. His other honors​ include fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts and the New York Foundation for the Arts; his first collection Totem was selected by Brenda Hillman for the APR/Honickman Prize in 2007. He is Poetry Editor of Virginia Quarterly Review. Air Traffic, a memoir in essays, was released by Knopf in April 2018.
Guest: Gregory Pardlo Poet GREGORY PARDLO’S father was an air traffic controller who was fired by Ronald Reagan during the strike of 1981. That experience not only shaped the rest of his father’s life, but his own life as well. Pardlo writes about his complicated relationship with his dad in his new memoir, Air Traffic: A Memoir of Ambition and Manhood in America.  In the book, Pardlo explores his efforts to break away from his father’s legacy, his stint in the Marine Corp, his marriages, and his struggles with alcoholism. Pardlo won a Pulitzer for his 2015 collection of poetry, Digest. He teaches at Rutgers University-Camden and  joins Marty to talk about poetry, family, masculinity, race and finding his own way.
Good afternoon and welcome to another edition of The Avid Reader. Our guest today is Gregory Pardlo, author of Air Traffic: A Memoir of Ambition and Manhood in America just published on April 10th by Knopf. Gregory, before his incarnation as an author and memoir-ist wrote, and still writes, poetry. In 2015 Gregory won the Pulitzer Prize for his collection Digest. He has also held fellowships with the Guggenheim Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts and the New York Foundation for the Arts. His first poetry collection was Totem. Air Traffic is a memoir of a brilliant and charismatic father, Gregory’s and his ride and fall. In part because of that fall Gregory joins the Marines, travels across the world, returns to the States and gets a job at his family’s jazz club. The memoir follows Gregory as he creates a life for himself that includes his family but isn’t defined by it. He also recovers from alcoholism and attempts to save his brother Robbie from the same fate. Although Gregory describes many failures in his life that he regrets, he also shares the learning process that has evolved from those. A lot of the story centers around the Delaware Valley, where you my listeners sit right now, so that will help ease you into the narrative and bring back familiar places and times. And oh by the way, Gregory will be speaking at the Free Library downtown tomorrow April 24th at 7:30 PM. So visit the site now for the Library and get tickets if you haven’t done so already.
Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Gregory Pardlo's new memoir, 'Air Traffic,' chronicles his complicated relationship with his father, a labor organizer who lost his job following the air traffic controllers' 1981 strike. Pardlo also talks about his brief time in the Marines, and his family's appearance on the A&E show 'Intervention.' Book critic Maureen Corrigan reviews 'The Art of the Wasted Day' by Patricia Hampl.
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Creator Details

Birthdate
Nov 24th, 1968
Episode Count
5
Podcast Count
5
Total Airtime
4 hours, 29 minutes
PCID
Podchaser Creator ID logo 405141