A Slant of Light

Reflections on Jack Wheatcroft

Peter Balakian,

A Slant of Light: Reflections on Jack Wheatcroft

Jack Wheatcroft (1925-2016) had a transformative impact on five decades of Bucknell students (1952-1996). He served the institution with great generosity of a kind that was rare for a teacher so immersed in his writing. He founded the Bucknell Seminar for Undergraduate Poets, the Philip Roth Visiting Writers Residency, and the magnificent Stadler Center for Poetry. He over saw the restoration of Bucknell Hall for the Stadler Center and today it is one of the most beautiful and distinguished buildings and centers on campus. He was largely responsible for the creation of Bucknell University Press. Jack Wheatcroft’s life and the evolution of Bucknell University in the twentieth century are inextricable. He was formative in helping to create and nurture a community of artists and intellectuals that helped to propel Bucknell into national prominence. Over fifty years, Jack Wheatcroft published twenty-six books of poetry, fiction, and plays. The essays in this festschrift, by former students (who have gone on to be writers and teachers themselves), colleagues, and friends are a testimony to an extraordinary teacher, writer, innovator, and trailblazer in creating a community and infrastructure of literary culture at a distinguished liberal arts college.

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