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Gonzaga’s ‘Jesuits and the Arts’ Series Continues with Gerard Manley Hopkins Poetry Events Feb. 5-7

SPOKANE, Wash. – Gonzaga University’s “Jesuits and the Arts” series continues Feb. 5-7 with a focus on literature, featuring Jesuit priest and poet Gerard Manley Hopkins (1844-1889). He is recognized as one of the most important 19th century Victorian poets and among the most challenging poets in English, even though his daring explorations in prosody and imagery were never published in his lifetime. All events are free and open to the public.

The first event is a lecture by Father Thomas Lucas, S.J., entitled “Historical Context of Gerard Manley Hopkins,” from 7:30-8:30 p.m., Wednesday, Feb. 5 in the Jundt Auditorium of the Jundt Art Center. The lecture will address the world surrounding Hopkins during his life. Fr. Lucas, rector of Seattle University’s Jesuit community, previously served as a professor of art and architecture at University of San Francisco. He is a prolific author and internationally recognized expert in Jesuit art history.

Actor Richard Austin will perform a reading of Hopkins’ poetry — entirely from memory.

On Thursday, Feb. 6 at 5:30 p.m. at the Huetter Mansion on Gonzaga’s campus, Gonzaga will host a reception for Richard Austin. A professional actor trained in London, Austin will perform his one-man show featuring Hopkins’ poetry – performed entirely from memory – at 6:30 p.m., in the University Chapel located on the third floor of College Hall. Austin has received international acclaim for his worldwide performances of the show titled, “Back to Beauty’s Giver.”

The final Hopkins event will be a presentation by Gonzaga Special Collections Librarian Stephanie Plowman on Gonzaga’s Gerard Manley Hopkins Collection – one of the world’s foremost Hopkins research archives – at 6 p.m., Friday, Feb. 7 in the Foley Center Teleconference Room.  A reception will follow from 7-8 p.m. in the Foley Center Library Rare Books Room, where Gonzaga’s Hopkins Collection will be on display.

A major part of Gonzaga’s Gerard Manley Hopkins Collection is the Bischoff Research Collection, named for Fr. Anthony Bischoff, S.J. (1910-1993), a member of Gonzaga’s English department faculty who started the collection by gathering Hopkins-related materials in the late 1940s as a doctoral candidate at Yale University (Ph.D., 1952). Fr. Bischoff continued collecting widely until the early 1990s. Gonzaga’s collection is a resource for Hopkins’ scholars worldwide.  

Gonzaga’s “Jesuits and the Arts” series began in November with several events focused on music. The series will continue with a focus on one or two fine arts a year for the next several years. All events in the series are free and open to the public.

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