Saint Xavier University is pleased to announce that former editor of “Poetry” magazine and noted author, editor, critic, and public speaker Joseph Parisi, Ph.D., will receive an honorary doctorate at the University’s Winter Commencement on Sat., Dec. 15. Parisi also will deliver the commencement address to more than 500 graduates. The ceremony is scheduled for 10 a.m. in the Shannon Center at the University’s Chicago campus, 3700 W. 103rd St.
For 20 years, Parisi was editor-in-chief of “Poetry” magazine, the world’s premier poetry publication, currently celebrating its 100th anniversary. As editor with a tenure second only to founding editor Harriet Monroe, Parisi is credited with discovering several influential poets, including former U.S. Poets Laureate Billy Collins and Kay Ryan. While at “Poetry,” Parisi also was executive director of the Modern Poetry Association (now the Poetry Foundation) and worked to establish the Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize and Ruth Lilly Fellowships, two of poetry’s most prestigious prizes.
Parisi has published nine books, and his articles, critical essays, and reviews have appeared in diverse popular periodicals and literary journals. He is now completing work on an extensive study titled “Venice Now & Then,” which describes the city’s perilous present-day life and uncertain future against its rich, indeed unparalleled, artistic and economic history.
Parisi holds a Ph.D. in English from the University of Chicago, where he received a three-year fellowship and a traveling scholarship to Europe. Among other awards, he has held a Fellowship from the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation (2000-01) and was elected a By-Fellow of Churchill College, Cambridge (2004). His last regular academic appointment was at the University of Illinois-Chicago (1978-1987).
Over the last decade, he has given two public lectures at Saint Xavier and has served on the Library Advisory Committee. He has been a guest speaker and visiting scholar at several other institutions, including the Universities of Michigan, Wisconsin, Virginia, Indiana, Delaware, Texas, Georgia, Vermont, Florida, Chicago, Basel (Switzerland), and at King’s College, Cambridge, as well as many colleges. He continues to give well-attended presentations – on literary history, modern poetry, and popular culture – across the United States and abroad. He has also participated in numerous local and national radio and television broadcasts, particularly on PBS and NPR.