SBU to Celebrate Life of Robert Lax

A week-long series of lectures, performances and discussions on Olean native Robert Lax will take place from March 4 to 8 at St. Bonaventure University.

Lax spent his early years in Olean and went on to become a well-known poet, artist and spiritual thinker. He spent more than 30 years of his later life on the Greek islands of Kalymnos and Patmos.

St. Bonaventure is home to the Robert Lax Archives.

Dr. Steve Georgiou of the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, Calif., will give three lectures open to the public: at 4:30 p.m. on March 4 and 5 in the Walsh Science Center Auditorium; and at 7 p.m. March 6 at the Olean Public Library.

At 7:30 p.m. on March 8, an original composition inspired by Lax’s poetry by Gwyneth Walker will be performed in the Regina Quick Arts Center, with a short documentary to follow. The show is free and open to the public.

Throughout the week, exhibits mounted by Friedsam Memorial Library director Paul Spaeth will be displayed at the library and the Quick Center’s Branch Gallery.

Lax was born in Olean in 1915. In the 1930s, Lax attended Columbia University, where he became friends with Thomas Merton. Merton would later teach English at St. Bonaventure in the early 1940s before becoming a renowned spiritual writer and Trappist monk. Lax died in 2000.

St. Bonaventure’s School of Arts and Sciences, Friedsam Memorial Library and The Regina Quick Center for the Arts worked with the Olean Public Library, Olean High School and members of the Olean community on this event.

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