Julia Budenz was born in New York City and lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Since about 1969 she has been writing a long poem, “The Gardens of Flora Baum,” which comprises
Book 1: By the Tree of Life,Published as separate volumes are part of Book Two, under the title From the Gardens of Flora Baum (Wesleyan University Press, 1984), and part of Book Three, under the title Carmina Carmentis (Pivot Press, 2006 [copyright 2005]). Numerous other sections, some short and some very long, have appeared in American and European periodicals, both in print and on line (1971-2010).
Book 2: Towards a Greek Garden,
Book 3: Rome,
Book 4: Towards Farthest Thule,
Book 5: By the Tree of Knowledge.
After receiving her A.B. summa cum laude from the College of New Rochelle in 1956 with a major in classics (Latin and Greek), Julia Budenz did her graduate work at Catholic University (1959-1962) in classics (Latin and Greek) and medieval Latin, at New York University (spring 1966) in comparative literature (Greek and English), and at Harvard University (1966-1971) in comparative literature (Greek, Latin, and English). She has taught Greek, Latin, English, and mythology at Berea College, Colby College, the College of New Rochelle, and the Radcliffe Seminars, and she has assisted with research, translation, and editing in the Department of the History of Science at Harvard University. Now retired from Harvard, she dedicates her life, insofar as she can, to study and writing.
Julia Budenz has held residencies at the Bellagio Study and Conference Center of the Rockefeller Foundation, the Djerassi Foundation, and Yaddo; has been granted fellowships by the Bunting Fellowship Program of the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, the Department of Comparative Literature of Harvard University, and the National Endowment for the Arts; and has been Visiting Artist or Visiting Scholar at the American Academy in Rome and in the Department of English of Harvard University. She has given readings of her poetry in the United States, Britain, and Italy at venues or with sponsors such as the American Academy in Rome; the Blacksmith House in Cambridge, Massachusetts; the Center for Literary and Cultural Studies with the Department of Romance Languages and Literatures of Harvard University; the Edinburgh Festival in Scotland; the Ellen La Forge Memorial Poetry Reading at Adams House of Harvard University; Framingham State College in Framingham, Massachusetts; Hendrix College Expansive Poetry Conference in Conway, Arkansas; Jamestown Community College in Jamestown, New York; the Poetry Center of the 92nd Street Y in New York City; the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study; and Willamette University in Salem, Oregon. Commentary published in the United States or in Britain includes pieces on her work by Janet Caird, Amy Clampitt, William Doreski, Gretchen Elmendorf, James Mann, and Susan Mitchell, and her poetry has been set to music by Janice Hamer and by Dale Jergenson and has been read and discussed at the Liberty Fund Colloquium on Freedom and the Epic in Austin, Texas.
At present “The Gardens of Flora Baum” is about 2000 pages in length, as all of Books One and Two, most of the very long Book Three, and parts of Books Four and Five have been completed. Although Books Three, Four, and Five are being written simultaneously, the chief work of these years is the first section, “The Margaret-Ghost,” of the third part, “Knowledge,” of the fifth book, “By the Tree of Knowledge.”
[Written by Julia Budenz. Posted May 19, 2010.]
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