The Newhouse Center for the Humanities at
Wellesley College Presents Poet Anne Carson

April 12, 2010

CONTACT: Nina Berger
Interviews upon request; 781-283-2034

“Anne Carson is the most exciting poet writing in English today" – author Michael Ondaatje

 “There is no dancer in the world I would rather watch in solos than Rashaun Mitchell” – Alastair Macaulay, The New York Times

WELLESLEY, Mass.— The poet and scholar Anne Carson has exhilarated East Coast audiences with live mash-ups of poetry, dance and performance art, drawing fans such as Lou Reed and Laurie Anderson. On Saturday, April 24, at 8 pm, the Newhouse Center for the Humanities brings two of Carson’s best-known collaborations, Bracko and Cassandra Float Can, to Jewett Auditorium at Wellesley College.  The performance is free and open to the public.

Anne CarsonBracko, set to Carson’s translations of Greek writer and composer Sappho, is performed in four voices with dances choreographed by Rashaun Mitchell of the Merce Cunningham Dance Company.  In Carson’s compelling translations, brackets are used to represent the torn papyrus sheets that fragment the poems and lend an air of intrigue to the work.  "Brackets imply a free space of imaginal adventure," says Carson. Filling in these ambiguous spaces will be the dance artistry of Mitchell and Marcie Munnerlyn.

Cassandra Float Can links ancient Greek playwright Aiskhylos’s prophetic character Cassandra, who was doomed to speak the truth and not be believed, with other witnesses in turbulent times: the philosopher Edmund Husserl, the artist/architect Gordon Matta-Clark (whose works are on view at the college’s Davis Museum) and the translator of ancient texts herself, Anne Carson. It is an exploration on the divergence of translation that brings together text, dance and video projection.

"The inventiveness and elasticity of Anne Carson's creative vision never ceases to amaze me,” says Newhouse Director Carol Dougherty,  “and I am thrilled that the Newhouse Center for Humanities will host two of her latest collaborative performance pieces this spring.  Bracko and Cassandra Float Can bring dance, poetry and the visual arts together in ways that showcase the love of language that Anne brings to all of her creative projects."

Anne Carson’s latest translation is An Oresteia: Agamemnon by Aiskhylos; Elektra by Sophokles; Orestes by Euripides (Faber & Faber, 2009).  Her publications also include Eros the Bittersweet (1986), The Beauty of the Husband: A Fictional Essay in 29 Tangos (2001), and If Not Winter: Fragments of Sappho (2002).She has won the Lannan Literary Award, the Pushcart Prize, a Guggenheim Fellowship and a MacArthur “genius” Fellowship. Carson was born in Canada and lives in New York City.

Dancers Rashaun Mitchell and Marcie Munnerlyn are currently performing with the Merce Cunningham Dance Company.  Mitchell, who started dancing at Concord Academy with Amy Spencer and Richard Colton, has been referred to as “the most riveting of all the company’s present dancers” by The New York Times.  Munnerlyn, originally from Portland, Ore., has been a member of Merce Cunningham Dance Company since 2004.

Robert Currie, a frequent collaborator of Carson’s, is an artist who lives in New York City.

A panel discussion with Wellesley College Professor of Art  Patricia Berman, cultural critic and dance scholar Debra Cash and Associate Professor of English and Comparative Literature at the University of Michigan Yopie Prins  will follow the performance.


Founded in 2003 by a generous gift from Susan Marley Newhouse ’55 and Donald Newhouse, the Newhouse Center for the Humanities generates and supports innovative, world-class programming in the humanities and arts. The Newhouse Center’s mission is to create a dynamic and cosmopolitan intellectual community that extends from Wellesley College to the greater Boston-area and beyond.

For more information, visit or call 781-283-2698.  You can also email Jane Jackson at


The Wellesley College arts curriculum and the highly acclaimed Davis Museum and Cultural Center are integral components of the College’s liberal arts education. For decades, various departments and programs from across the campus have enlivened the community with world-class programming — classical and popular music, visual arts, theatre, dance, author readings, symposia, and lectures by some of today’s leading artists and creative thinkers — most of which are free and open to the public.
Since 1875, Wellesley College has been a leader in providing an excellent liberal arts education for women who will make a difference in the world.  Its 500-acre campus near Boston is home to 2,300 undergraduate students from all 50 states and 75 countries.