Poet Robert Lax lived the literary dream—he worked at The New Yorker, wrote Hollywood screenplays, edited a Paris literary journal—all the while pursuing what he called a ‘pure act’ of living spontanously and in the moment. And in doing so, his poetry reached new and higher levels, until he became recognized as one of America’s greatest experimental poets and an influence on Thomas Merton, Jack Kerouac, William Maxwell, and others. Michael N. McGregor, a Professor of English and Creative Writing at Portland State University, tonight reads from Pure Act: The Uncommon Life of Robert Lax, his new book on the icon, whom McGregor actually visited regularly. 7 PM. Free. —Isabel Beeton

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