NORTHAMPTON, Mass.—Smith College will present a reading by American poet and scholar Alicia Ostriker at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 8, in Neilson Library Browsing Room. The event is free and open to the public.
Ostriker served as the judge of the eighth annual Smith College Poetry Prize for High School Girls in New England. She chose as the winner Maria Theano Juran of St. Luke’s School, New Canaan, Conn., and three finalists: Courtney Breiner of Emma Willard School, Troy, N.Y.; Ruting Li of Milton Academy, Milton, Mass.; and Isabelle Ness of Northampton High School, Northampton, Mass. In addition, 11 semi-finalists were selected representing the states of Massachusetts, Vermont, Connecticut, New York and Maine. The student poets will present their winning poems prior to Ostriker’s reading.
The author of 15 books of poems and eight works of critical prose, Ostriker writes poetry and pursues scholarly work that is concerned with challenging received concepts of identity, speaking for women as diverse as Hagar, Miriam, Sheba, the “crazy” woman on the subway and herself. Her most recent collection of poems, The Old Woman, the Tulip, and the Dog, was published in January.
Born in New York City in 1937, Ostriker earned degrees from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and Brandeis University. She is professor emerita of English at Rutgers University, core faculty at the Low-Residency MFA Program at Drew University, and lives in Princeton, N.J. Named one of “10 Great Jewish Poets” by Moment Magazine, Ostriker has received dozens of awards and prizes, including fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Guggenheim and Rockefeller foundations.
The reading is supported by the Program for the Study of Women and Gender, the Jewish studies and religion departments and the Lecture Committee and will be followed by a book sale and signing. For further information, contact Jennifer Blackburn in the Poetry Center office at (413) 585-4891 or Ellen Doré Watson, Poetry Center director, at (413) 585-3368. For disability access information or to request accommodations, call (413) 585-2407.
To request a sign language interpreter specifically, call (413) 585-2071 (voice or TTY) or email ODS@smith.edu. All requests must be made at least 10 days prior to the event.