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September 14, 2011

Acclaimed Poet Jane Hirshfield to Read at Smith

Editor's note: For a 300-dpi image of Jane Hirshfield, e-mail Marti Hobbes.

Jane HirshfieldNORTHAMPTON, Mass.—Smith College will present a reading by poet Jane Hirshfield at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 4, in Weinstein Auditorium, Wright Hall. The event is free and open to the public.

Hirshfield is the author of seven collections of poetry, most recently “Come, Thief” (2011) and “After” (named a “best book of 2006” by the Washington Post, the San Francisco Chronicle and the London Financial Times). Her poetry is an extension of a life both lived and examined, and her carefully crafted poems range from elegiac to joyful, reflective to restive. “At some point I realized that you don’t get a full human life if you try to cut off one end of it, that you need to agree to the entire experience, to the full spectrum of what happens,” she says. “Everything I am and know and have lived goes into a poem.”

As a young adult, before becoming a writer and translator, Hirshfield spent eight years in full-time Zen Buddhist practice; that experience, and her ongoing Buddhist practice, has had profound effects on her work. Meticulously crafted, layered with complexity but seeking clarity and awareness, the poems offer graceful and deliberate observations of both the natural world and the emotional world.

Hirshfield’s many honors include fellowships from The Academy of American Poets, the Guggenheim and Rockefeller foundations and the National Endowment for the Arts. She has taught widely, served as guest poet at universities and conferences across the country and was featured on National Public Radio as well as in two Bill Moyers PBS specials. She makes her home in the San Francisco Bay area.

Hirshfield’s reading will be followed by a booksale and signing. For further information, contact Michaela Cahillane in the Poetry Center office at (413) 585-4891 or Ellen Doré Watson, 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 e-mail All requests must be made at least 10 days prior to the event.

Office of College Relations
Smith College
Garrison Hall
Northampton, Massachusetts 01063

Marti Hobbes
News Assistant
T (413) 585-2190
F (413) 585-2174

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