WT’s March Great Books Series to Highlight Under-Appreciated American Poet


University of North Texas Photog

University of North Texas portrait of Jeffrey Doty. Photographed on 29, June 2021 in Denton, Texas. (Sarah Stevens/UNT Photo)

CANYON, Texas — A unsung American poet with the ability to balance beauty and brutality will be in the spotlight for the March edition of West Texas A&M University’s Great Books series.

Dr. Jeffrey Doty, associate professor of English at the University of North Texas and former WT professor, will lead the discussion of four poems by Anthony Hecht at 7 p.m. March 14 via Zoom.

The discussion series — sponsored by the Department of English, Philosophy and Modern Languages in the Sybil B. Harrington College of Fine Arts and Humanities —is open to those who either have or haven’t read the book, said Dr. Daniel Bloom, Great Books organizer and associate professor of philosophy.

Doty said Hecht was an important American poet who’s now returning to the spotlight in the centennial year of his birth. Knopf is planning to publish both his biography and his collected poetry this year.

“He frequently wrote about romantic love, moral responsibility and the incomprehensible evil of the Holocaust as one of the U.S. Army soldiers who first entered the Buchenwald concentration camp,” Doty said. “The elegance of his poetry, his interest in the divine and his humor often remind me of Leonard Cohen. I’m especially interested in how Hecht uses beautiful formal poetic elements while meditating on barbarity.”

WT professors and guest lecturers lead the monthly Great Books discussions.

The series began in 2011 and is traditionally held on the second Tuesday of the month.

To register for the March discussion, email Bloom at [email protected].

The series is one way in which WT serves the region by offering engagement with a variety of literary and philosophical texts. Being a learner-centered university is a key principle of the University’s long-range plan, WT 125: From the Panhandle to the World.

That plan is fueled by the historic, $125 million One West comprehensive fundraising campaign. To date, the five-year campaign — which publicly launched in September 2021 — has raised more than $120 million.