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Robert Pinsky merges poetry and jazz

Robert Pinsky (center) onstage at BU Playwrights’ Theater with Stan Strickland (left), John Lockwood (right), and Laurence Hobgood (not pictured).

Barry Chin/Globe staff

Robert Pinsky (center) onstage at BU Playwrights’ Theater with Stan Strickland (left), John Lockwood (right), and Laurence Hobgood (not pictured).

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You’d think that being Poet Laureate of the United States would be enough for a person. But it turns out that when
Robert Pinsky was a high schooler, in New Jersey, he dreamed of being a musician. Now he’s merging his goals. On
Tuesday night, the Boston University English professor taped a poetry and jazz session with Grammy Award-winning
pianist Laurence Hobgood , saxophonist Stan Strickland, and bassist John Lockwood . The evening will be part of Pinsky’s open online course, premiering next fall, and it unites two genres that probably should always be taught together.
Ezra Pound said that music atrophies when it gets too far from dance,” Pinsky said, “and poetry atrophies when it gets too far from music.” For those who can’t wait until the fall to see Professor Pinsky, he’ll be at Sanders Theatre this Friday, with the Vijay Iyer Trio.

Beth Teitell can be reached at beth.teitell@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @BethTeitell.
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