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Dear Friends,

Last fall, Bard Graduate Center kicked off an inquiry to explore the meaning of research. We asked, “Who better to introduce us to the meaning of research than a group of people who are our culture’s heroes of research?” So we invited nine MacArthur Fellows to participate in a series of discussions. They included artists, humanists and scientists. We brought them from these different backgrounds because at the beginning of our inquiry, we didn’t want to presume that there is only one kind of research.

The poet Campbell McGrath was one of our participants, and as part of our inquiry we commissioned a new poem from him to appear in the published version of the discussions, What is Research? due out next month. Campbell was named a MacArthur Fellow in 1999. In selecting him, the foundation noted his “grand vision, raw energy, and keen ear for the subtleties of the modern condition,” and commented that “his work is a reflection of our age and society.” That praise feels perfectly suited to this new poem, “At the Ruins of Yankee Stadium,” that celebrates the way a poet does research and, inter alia, New York. What may have seemed incidental in November, when he wrote it, no longer does. We want to share the poem broadly, believing that our colleagues, friends, and family members might need to read it now as much as we do. I’m delighted that the poem appears in the April 27 issue of The New Yorker and to be able to send you this link. If you would like to learn more about the poem and Campbell’s work, please check out the short video below.


Peter N. Miller

Learn More About the Poem in this Interview with Campbell McGrath

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