Neilson Browsing Room
7:30 PM
   
 



Gritty, kinetic, raw, and real, the poems of Daisy Fried mirror the urban landscape and boldly floodlight its complex blend of sorrow and joy, pleasure and struggle. Writes Eleanor Wilner of Fried’s first book, She Didn’t Mean to Do It, “She’s got a one-of-a-kind, syncopated city-talking voice: book smart, street smart, sophisticated, and an ear so good it seems to pick up every human frequency, in poems off-beat and on-target (hold on to your heart).” Recipient of the prestigious Pew Fellowship in Poetry, a Hodder Fellowship from Princeton University, and the University of Pittsburgh’s Agnes Lynch Starrett Prize, Fried makes her home in Philadelphia. She has just begun a two-year stint as Grace Hazard Conkling Writer-in-Residence at Smith College.

 
 
     

 

 

 

 
 

Stoddard Hall Auditorium
7:30 PM
   
 
 



With breathtaking acuity of observation and quiet depth of feeling, Annie Boutelle’s elegantly spare poems negotiate loss and offer entry into other lives, other languages. Becoming Bone, based on the life of Celia Thaxter, probes the inner world of one of nineteenth-century America’s most popular woman poets, in what Gerald Stern calls “a magnificent secret history.” In Nest of Thistles, winner of the 2005 Samuel French Morse Poetry Prize, and in part an autobiographical exploration of her childhood in Scotland, Boutelle applies a similarly fierce intensity to the recovery of her own life and language. Senior lecturer in the English Department at Smith College, Boutelle is the founder and guiding light of the Poetry Center.

 
 
     

 

 

 

 
 

Weinstein Auditorium, Wright Hall
7:30 PM
     
 
 



Jack Gilbert was praised by David St. John for the "stoniest and most aesthetic Romanticism in American poetry." Twice nominated for the Pulitzer Prize and winner of the Yale Younger Poets prize in 1962, Gilbert is known for lucid insights, a sparse, concrete style, and his deep sense of personal and poetic integrity. His newest, and eagerly-anticipated collection, Refusing Heaven, reflects the commingled passion, loneliness, and sometimes surprising happiness of a life spent in luminous understanding of his own blessings and shortcomings. Gilbert served in 1999-2000 as the Grace Hazard Conkling Writer-in-Residence at Smith College and lives in Northampton.

 
         
 
 



Linda Gregg
’s poems are keenly observed and ring with the musical intensity of lived experience, traveling as they do across emotional and physical distances to capture the searchings and findings of both intellect and body. With energy and insight drawn from the exploration of the inscrutable and inconsolable, Gregg works through grief and solitude with radiant grace. Joseph Brodsky says of her work, “The blinding intensity of Ms. Gregg’s lines stains the reader’s psyche the way lightning or heartbreak do.” Recipient of awards from the Whiting and Guggenheim foundations, Gregg is author of six books of poems, most recently Things and Flesh.

Supported by the Smith College Lecture Committee

 
     

 

 

 

 
 

Weinstein Auditorium, Wright Hall
7:30 PM
     
 

 




With raw honesty, courage, and insight, incarcerated and recently-released women bring their hopes and histories to life in an intimate ensemble performance of poetry and monologue. Writing together in creative-writing workshops sponsored by western Massachusetts-based Voices from Inside, they came to recognize—some for the first time—the power of their own stories. This ensemble of original work, created in collaboration with performance poet Magdalena Gomez, brings immediacy and urgency to issues of oppression and compassion. The women of Voices from Inside challenge public perception about incarceration, about those we put into prison and why—and about what happens to the heart inside those walls.

 

 

 


 
     

 

 

 

 
 


Stoddard Hall Auditorium
7:30 PM

     
 
 



With irreverent intelligence and rigorous formality, Carl Phillips’s poems make the mythical resonate at a modern and human frequency. Trained as a classicist, Phillips uses cerebral language and sensual imagery to reanimate the darkness of the stories that imperceptibly shape us, plumbing human myths and social narratives to explore what Booklist has called “the tension between love, belief, and reason.” The author of seven books of poetry, Phillips’s many awards include a Guggenheim Fellowship, two Pushcart Prizes, and the Academy of American Poets Prize. The Rest of Love was a finalist for the 2004 National Book Award. He teaches at Washington University in St. Louis.

An endowed reading in memory of Edith Oppenheimer Richman, ’31


 
 
 

 

 

     
     

 
     

 

 

 
 

Stoddard Hall Auditorium
7:30 PM
     
 




Charles Bernstein is one of the founders of the influential L=A=N=G=U=A=G=E journal, a prolific and brilliant poet and translator, a textual artist, a critic and essayist, a curator of such collections as Poetry Plastique, a radio poetry-show host, a gifted teacher, a talented librettist, and the star of several Hollywood commercials for the Yellow Pages. His poems are inventive, complicated, sharp-edged and witty. His self-proclaimed mission is “to rattle the chains” of verse. As Booklist asserts, “American poetry needs Bernstein to keep it radically honest.”

 

 
 
         
 

 



Jerome Rothenerg’s complex and singular poetic voice has emerged in more than seventy volumes of poetry, prose, and innovative translation. Within the self-fashioned realm of ethnopoetics, he negotiates the perils and problematics of his identities as man, Jew, artist, displaced person, observer, and participant in society. Determined to mine what is dismissed or ignored by mainstream writing, he exhibits an interest in non-traditional poetics, working with photography and visual languages to explore the relation of the seen to the spoken. Kenneth Rexroth declared that “No one has dug deeper into the roots of poetry.”

Supported by the Smith College Museum of Art and the Mortimer Rare Book Room, in conjunction with the exhibition “Too Much Bliss: Twenty Years of Granary Books,” which features the work of both poets, and runs through February 19th.


 
 
     

 

 

 

 
 

Stoddard Hall Auditorium
7:30 PM
     
 
 



Nikky Finney’s poems provide glimpses into the human adventures of birth, death, family, violence, and sexuality, exploring the soul of human community. They point out the constants we share, reaching from the personal into the collective with equal measures of love and rage. Writes Walter Mosely, “She has flung me into an afterbirth of stars and made my stiff bones as loose as jelly.” Author of four books, most recently The World is Round, Finney is a founding member of the Affrilachian Poets, a group of Appalachian writers of African descent, and an Associate Professor of Creative Writing at the University of Kentucky.

Supported by the Department of Afro-American Studies




 
 
     

 

 

 

 
 

     
 
 

John Balaban, twice a National Book Award finalist for his own poetry, is one of the preeminent authorities on Vietnamese literature. In Spring Essence: The Poetry of Hồ Xuân Hýõng, Balaban re-awakens the voice of an 18th-century Vietnamese concubine and one of modern Vietnam’s most beloved poetic voices. This celebration of Spring Essence will include Balaban’s translations, as well special guests Co Boi Nguyen, ‘singing’ the originals, and Ngô Thanh Nhàn, providing accompaniment on the dan tranh.

Supported by the Smith College Lecture Committee

 
     

 

 

 

 
 

Wright Hall Auditorium
7:30 PM
     
 
 



Doug Anderson
served as a medic in Vietnam and writes eloquently from that experience. He often draws on the epics of Homer for context and provocation. His published volumes include The Moon Reflected Fire, winner of the Kate Tufts Discovery Award, and, most recently, Blues for Unemployed Secret Police.

 

 

 

 

 


 
 
         
 

 

Iraq war veteran Brian Turner’s first collection, Here, Bullet, is a powerfully affecting poetry of witness, exceptional for its beauty, honesty and skill. “His lines have a terrific immediacy,” writes Joel Brouwer in The New York Times. “In these poems, Iraq emerges from the fog of political oratory into tangibility.”

Presented as part of “Stories of War and Return,” a program of films, lectures, readings, plays, workshops, and photo exhibits sponsored by Hampshire College in late March & April. For further information, contact Robert Meagher at 413-559-5417 or rmeagher@hampshire.edu

 

 
 
     

 

 

 

 
 

Wright Hall Auditorium
7:30 PM

   
 
 

Gary Snyder’s words have the substance and weight of stones. As the title of his first volume attests, his poems create a verbal Riprap, a rock path by which we enter the terrains of ecology and human experience. Author of eighteen books and translated into more than twenty languages, Snyder is the recipient of many prestigious awards, including the Pulitzer, the Bollingen Poetry Prize, and the John Hay Award for Nature Writing. He was also the first American literary figure to receive the Buddhist Transmission Award, for distinctive contributions in linking Zen thought and respect for the natural world across a lifelong body of poetry and prose.

Supported by the Ada Howe Kent Fund

 
 
     

 

 

 

 
 

John M. Greene Hall
7:30 PM
     
 
 

A Retrospective Reading with tributes by special guests Joy Harjo, Cheryl Clarke, and Edward Pavlic

Adrienne Rich’s life and writings have vigorously challenged roles, myths, and assumptions for a half a century. Recipient of countless literary honors, she has been a fervent activist against racism, sexism, economic injustice, and homophobia. Her exacting and provocative work is required reading in English and Women’s Studies courses. As she says, “Poetry can remind us of all we are in danger of losing—disturb us, embolden us out of our resignation.” Writes W.S. Merwin, “Adrienne Rich’s poems, volume after volume, have been the makings of one of the authentic, unpredictable, urgent, essential voices of our time.”

Supported by the Peggy Block Danziger ’62 & Richard Danziger

 
 
         
 
     
 

 

 

 

 




 

 


 
         
 


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