Poet Jean Valentine to Read at Smith
NORTHAMPTON, Mass.—Smith College will present a reading by acclaimed poet Jean Valentine at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 26, in Stoddard Hall Auditorium. Valentine will also give a talk, “Notes on Translating Tsvetaeva,” on Thursday, Feb. 28, at 4:30 p.m. in the Poetry Center, Wright Hall. Both events are free and open to the public.
For more than five decades, Valentine’s singular and necessary voice has thrilled readers and won high critical acclaim, from the Yale Younger Poet’s Award for her first book to the National Book Award for “Door in the Mountain: New and Collected Poems.”
Born in Chicago and educated at Radcliffe College, Valentine has lived most of her life in New York City and served as the New York State Poet Laureate from 2008-10. She has taught at Sarah Lawrence College, New York University, Columbia University and the 92nd Street Y in Manhattan and is currently on the faculty of Drew University’s graduate program in poetry and poetry in translation.
In December, Alice James Books published “Dark Elderberry Branch: Poems of Marina Tsvetaeva,” co-translated by Valentine and Russian writer Ilya Kaminsky. The extra event on Thursday, Feb. 28, in the Poetry Center, will feature bilingual readings of poems by Tsvetaeva, whose work is considered among the greatest in 20th-century Russian literature. Valentine will discuss the process of working with Kaminsky and why they call their translations of Tsvetaeva’s poems “readings.”
Valentine’s Feb. 26 reading will be followed by a book sale and signing. For further information, contact Jennifer Blackburn at (413) 585-4891. To reserve an assistive listening device, email Jennifer Blackburn at least one day prior to the reading.
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 ODS@smith.edu. All requests must be made at least 10 days prior to the event.