The John Fowles Center for Creative Writing Literary Forum presents Willis Barnstone

Pulitzer Prize nominee Willis Barnstone’s great work—actually, there should be capitals on both of those—is last year’s Restored New Testament, in which the esteemed translator and poet unknots the Biblical text into something closer to both its probable original form and its probable original poetry. He revived the Jewish proper names, included the Gnostic gospels of Tomas, Yehuda and Miryam—no surprise based on his previous Gnostic scholarship—and adjusted Jesus’ words (as well as Revelation and the Letters of Paul) into blank verse, explaining to one writer that he was simply trying to clarify the Bible’s origin as oral tradition. “It’s poetry locked in prose,” he told the San Francisco Chronicle. “This book is revolutionary in that it seeks to restore.”

Mon., March 8, 7 p.m., 2010

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