UB Students Salute Contemporary Poet
On December 8th, 1961, e. e. cummings, the American poet, painter, essayist, author, and playwright, drew a capacity crowd to the Butler Auditorium in Capen Hall on the University at Buffalo campus. The convocation committee of the Student Senate and the Abbott poetry reading fund of the Lockwood Library co-sponsored the visit.
Introducing the guest, Dr. Oscar A. Silverman, head of the English Department at UB and Director of the Libraries, was grateful for the students who made the event possible and was “moved that the students have taken such an interest in poetry.”
Cummings read from his books “Poems 1923-54” and “95 Poems” but gave no commentary on his poetry. There were no photographs taken, no autographs given, and no smoking allowed. During the intermission, cummings “disappeared” as he warned he would. None the less, the event was well received by faculty, students, deans, public relations personnel and high school teachers.
This was perhaps one of cummings last public readings as he died of a stroke less than a year later on September 3, 1962, at the age of 67.
Read more about the event in The Spectrum, the University at Buffalo’s Student Newspapers collection, a part of the University at Buffalo Digital Collections.