Central Library Downtown
Wed., March 15, 7 p.m. 2017
Kay Redfield Jamison (clinical psychologist and author of the brilliant, surprising book An Unquiet Mind, which details her own experiences with manic depression—the alluring, invigorating aspects along with the depression and trauma) will share her latest work, Robert Lowell, Setting the River on Fire: A Study of Genius, Mania, and Character. Lowell's tempestuous and debilitating moods are famous, and he wrote a number of poems about their effects, his institutionalization, and his periods of recovery. ("Just twelve months ago, / these flowers were pedigreed / imported Dutchmen; now no one need / distinguish them from weed. / Bushed by the late spring snow, / they cannot meet / another year's snowballing enervation. / I keep no rank nor station / Cured, I am frizzled, stale and small.") This book will expand on a theme that Jamison has explored before: the connection between prolific artistic creation and manic depression.