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RBHPS Speaker Will Read from Book of Modern Latin Poetry
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Latin poetry book cover imageWilliam Cooper will present a program for the Reuben Brown House Preservation Society (RBHPS) Sunday, Feb. 28 at 3 p.m. at the Reuben Brown House in Whiteville. This is a part of the literary series chaired by Pat Ray and Janice Simms.

Cooper will read excerpts from his recent book, Poematia Moderna: Modern Latin Poetry, which includes English translations of poems published in the 20th century and a few from the present century.

The poems included in this anthology were written by 70 contemporary poets from 17 nations. Cooper describes the criteria used in selecting the poems for the book and scheduled program as "short and sweet” with the average poem length only nine lines.

Cooper grew up on a ranch near Santa Barbara, Calif. He attended Cate School, a preparatory school in Carpenteria, Calif. and then went east to Harvard College, now Harvard University.

He received his undergraduate degree there as well as his first graduate degree.

He taught English as a Second Language at the Kamasinka School in Kenya, Africa, where his daughter was born. Returning to the United States, he taught at the University of California, Santa Barbara while earning his second graduate degree there.

He taught English and Latin at Allan Hancock Community College, also near Santa Barbara, for more than 20 years before his retirement in 2000.

Hancock College was one of only five community colleges in the United States offering Latin to its students at the time.

After his retirement, he and his wife, the former Phyllis Hinson of Whiteville, moved to North Carolina where they maintain homes in Wilmington and Lake Waccamaw.

Although he was introduced to Latin as a young student at Cate, Cooper was excited to be introduced to using it as a modern language at a meeting of the North American Institute for Living Latin Studies in 1990.

He and the late Mexican poet, Francisco Cabrera, collaborated on several Latin/ Spanish/English poems, including "Monumenta Mexicana,” an elegy of the Dark Virgin of Guadalupe.

Cooper’s latest book, Poematica Moderna: Modern Latin Poetry, was launched in 2015 at the meeting of the International Association for Neo-Latin Studies, held in Vienna, Austria.

The book has received praise from such noted Latinists as Joseph Tusiani, considered to be the leading modern Latin poet in the world.

He referred to the collection as being "the most important anthology of modern Latin poetry ever published.”

The Latin journal "Melissa,” in its review, said, "Reader, you will rejoice.” Words used to describe the book by other reviewers have been "important,” "comprehensive,” "essential” and "elegant.”

Cooper has an interest in the early languages of Old and Middle English, as well as for Latin, and has participated in symposiums and recordings of both of these languages.

The RBHPS, Inc. is a nonprofit membership organization with two main objectives: to encourage and promote awareness of, participation in and appreciation for cultural, historic and fine arts in Columbus County, and to preserve the Reuben Brown House and other historic buildings for community use.

For more information contact Janice Young at 642-7367 or Jeanette FormyDuval at 642-4701.

Article and Images Courtesy of and as Published February 22, 2016 in The News Reporter www.Whiteville.com

The Reuben Brown House Preservation Society is an IRS Code 501(c)(3) charitable organization. Contributions to the RBHPS are fully tax-deductible for federal income tax purposes.

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