After the Season, Some Poetry

Staged readings by Stephen Dunn and Jill Bialosky.

After the hubbub of the season, here’s a sane respite, and it’s free: Poetry Pairs is back at Guild Hall’s John Drew Theater on Sunday, with staged readings by Stephen Dunn, a winner of a Pulitzer Prize in poetry, and Jill Bialosky, an editor at W.W. Norton, novelist, and author of a new memoir, “Poetry Will Save Your Life.” 

That book traces the comfort that poems by Ben Jonson, Emily Dickinson, and W.H. Auden, among many others — often offering insight into the experience of bereavement — have provided Ms. Bialosky throughout her life, from the premature death of her father to her sister’s suicide to two failed pregnancies. 

Family life and the inevitability of loss are also central to “The Players,” from 2015, the latest of her several collections of poems. She lives part time in Bridgehampton.

Mr. Dunn won a Pulitzer in 2001 for “Different Hours,” his 11th collection, which in plainspoken language explores the mysteries of the everyday. He attended Hofstra on a basketball scholarship, the Guild Hall website notes, narrowly escaped a constrained life in advertising, traveled to Spain, and eventually earned a master’s degree in creative writing at Syracuse, where he studied with the poet Philip Booth (speaking of unadorned language). 

He is distinguished professor emeritus of creative writing at Stockton University in New Jersey. His poems have appeared in The New Yorker, The Atlantic, and numerous journals. 

The readings start at 3 p.m., and reservations are required. Poetry Pairs is organized by Fran Castan, a past Walt Whitman Birthplace Association Long Island poet of the year.