WEST LONG BRANCH – Robert Pinsky, the accomplished native son of the Jersey Shore, will return to his roots at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 15, when he appears at Monmouth University’s Pollak Theatre for an evening of jazz and poetry.
He’s the Pulitzer-lauded author of more than a dozen volumes of poetry and essays on art; a Ph.D. in philosophy and a professor at major halls of learning. He produced what’s regarded as the definitive translation of Dante’s Inferno and his unprecedented three terms as Poet Laureate of the United States resulted in the widely acclaimed Favorite Poem Project.
If Pinsky’s accomplishments seem so awesome as to render him almost unapproachable, it helps to recall that this is America’s first laureate to have also chalked up memorable appearances on The Simpsons and The Colbert Report.
Above all else, Pinsky is a native son of the Jersey Shore, born and raised in Long Branch – a man who’s every bit as apt to rhapsodize about a classic Max’s hot dog as he is about the likes of Greville and Gascoigne.
When Pinsky takes the stage of the Pollak Theatre, the master of the meter will be swinging an altogether different, decidedly nocturnal beat. He will be accompanied by Ben Allison, a double bassist branded by JazzTimes as a “visionary composer, adventurous improviser, and strong organizational force on the New York City jazz scene” and noted jazz guitarist Steve Cardenas.
Laced with improvisational energy and a nod to the Beats of the mid-20th century, the collaboration is a natural for the writer who once aspired to the tenor sax mastery of the late Stan Getz.
Tickets and additional information are available by contacting the Monmouth University Performing Arts
Box Office at 732-263-6889, or online at www.monmouth.edu/arts.