Weinstein Auditorium, Wright Hall
7:30 PM
     
 

 

 

 

 



CHARLES SIMIC’s poems "create unforgettable pictures that urge troubling but necessary knowledge," writes the Boston Globe. Born in war-torn Eastern Europe in 1938, and immigrating from Belgrade as a boy, the Pulitzer Prize winner and MacArthur Foundation “genius grant” recipient has authored more than 60 books. His work makes a dextrous weave of shadowy subjects and brilliant awakening details. Nominating Jackstraws a Notable Book of the Year in 1999, The New York Times noted that "few contemporary poets have been as influential—or as inimitable." In 1995, Simic was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the highest formal recognition of artistic merit in the United States.

Supported by the Smith College Lecture Committee

 

 
     

 

 

 
 

Stoddard Hall Auditorium
7:30 PM
     
 

 



Praised by Robert Pinsky as “an eloquent, passionate poet” and named by Library Journal as "one of 24 Poets for the 21st Century," ELLEN DORÉ WATSON writes with distinctive sass and ferocity. Vivid, propulsive, and compelling, the carefully honed lyrics of her fourth collection, This Sharpening, map the unraveling of a marriage and the persistence of longing. Recipient of many grants and awards for her poetry and translation, Watson serves as co-editor of The Massachusetts Review, leads local writing workshops, teaches in the English department at Smith, and has directed the Poetry Center since 1999.

Supported by the Kahn Liberal Arts Institute

 
     

 

 

 
 

Stoddard Hall Auditorium
7:30 PM
     
 

 

 

 

 



ANNE MARIE MACARI ’s Ivory Cradle was selected by Robert Creeley to win the APR/Honickman First Book prize. The collection, wrote Thomas Lux, “announces a poet fully formed….and wild to say things in ways they’ve never been said before.” Macari’s second book, Gloryland, dubbed “sumptuously visceral” by Publisher’s Weekly, re-examines motherhood, death, birth, and rebirth, drawing on religious and secular creation myths to enact a feminist religion. This poet’s spiritual and bodily crescendos come with the velocity and force of intense recognition and redemption. Anne Marie Macari teaches in New England College’s M.F.A. Program, and lives in New Jersey.

Supported by the Program for the Study of Women and Gender

 

 
     

 

 

 
 

Stoddard Hall Auditorium
7:30 PM
     
 

 

 

 



One of the most compelling new voices in contemporary poetry, TERRANCE HAYES consistently provokes his readers, boldly asking" if outrunning your captors is not the real meaning of Race?" Honest and unapologetic, his poems lie at what he calls the "intersection of identity and culture." This "bold virtuoso" (Los Angeles Times) teaches creative writing at Carnegie Mellon University, and has published three books since 1999, mostly recently Wind in a Box, about which John Ashbery writes: “One after another, these poems explode with the euphoria of summer lightning for our instruction and joy.”

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

 


 
         
         





     

 

 

 
 


Stoddard Hall Auditorium
7:30 PM

     
 

 

 

 

A passionate feminist and lesbian activist, ROBIN BECKER is the author of seven volumes of poetry, most recently The Horse Fair and Domain of Perfect Affection. Praised early in her career by Maxine Kumin for her “clear unafraid image in the mirror," she has gone on to become, in Michael Waters’s words, “one of our most generous and essential poets.”
Recipient of countless awards, including fellowships from the NEA and the Bunting Institute, Becker is professor of English and Women’s Studies at Penn State, as well as poetry editor and columnist for The Women’s Review of Books.

Supported by the Program for the Study of Women and Gender

 
     

 

 

 
 


Neilson Browsing Room
7:30 PM

 

 

   
 

 

 

 

SEMEZDIN MEHMEDINOVIC’s spare and haunting Sarajevo Blues, written under the horrific circumstances of the war in Bosnia-Herzogovina, was praised by The Washington Post as one of the best literary documents of the conflict. Paul Auster called it “at once a battle report and a philosophical investigation, [charting] the collapse of a world with heart-breaking clarity and precision.” After the war, Mehmedinovic and his family came to the U.S. as political refugees, settling in Alexandria, Virginia. His most recent collection, Nine Alexandrias, explores twenty-first century life in the heart of the empire.

Presented by the American Studies Program, the Department of Comparative Literature,
and the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, U.S. Department of State

 
     

 

 

 
 

Stoddard Hall Auditorium
7:30 PM
     
 

 

 


 

SARAH MANGUSO ’s poems meld the philosophical and the physical, question and aphorism, and are written in a voice that Carl Phillips has called “startling, disturbing, and original.” In her most recent book, Siste Viator, she re-imagines fragments of Frank O’Hara, John Berryman, and a wandering Zen koan as she wades through love and death, relationships and dreams. Manguso’s first collection, The Captain Lands in Paradise, was named a favorite book of 2002 by the Village Voice. Among other honors, she has three times been featured in the Best American Poetry series. A native of Massachusetts, Manguso currently lives in Brooklyn and teaches at the Pratt Institute.

 

 

 

 
     

 

 

 

KEVIN PRUFER writes with deep respect for the wrecks and ravages of this uncertain age, clothing his sometimes-mundane subjects in an uncommon beauty. His third and most recent book, Fallen from a Chariot, continues the elegiac arc for which he is known, examining his characteristic ruins and remains, and voicing echoes of Rome’s ancient rulers. Miraculously conjuring grace from the gruesome and empathy for the inanimate, Prufer gives as much soul to “The black hearts of automobiles” as to “the body/unaware and cooling against the dash.” Winner of two Pushcart Prizes, Prufer is an editor of Pleiades: A Journal of New Writing, and teaches at the University of Central Missouri.

     

 

 

 
 


Memorial Hall, University of Massachusetts, Amherst
7:30 PM

     
     



Poets representing Smith: SARA BRICKMAN ’07 and LAURIE GUERRERO-GARCÉS AC

 
     

 

 

 
 


Stoddard Hall Auditorium
7:30 PM

     
 

 

 

 

Bloomsbury Review hailed KIMIKO HAHN ’s “welcome voice of experimentation and passion.” Adapting the ancient Japanese tradition of zuihitsu (“running brush”), she is formally innovative and informally contemplative. In her most recent book, The Narrow Road to the Interior, she uses the tools of fragmentation and paradox to drive an intimate examination of the intersections of memory, body and identity. Hahn is the author of seven collections of poetry and the recipient of the American Book Award for her 1995 collection The Unbearable Heart. She is a Distinguished Professor of English at Queens College-CUNY and lives in New York.

Supported by the Program for the Study of Women and Gender

 
     

 

 

 
 

Weinstein Auditorium, Wright Hall
7:30 PM
     
 

 

 

 

NAOMI SHIHAB NYE calls herself a “wandering poet.” Her poems, in the words of William Stafford, “combine transcendent liveliness and sparkle along with warmth and human insight.” Growing up in St. Louis, Jerusalem, and San Antonio, Nye has spread her roots widely and deep, but a restless strain also runs through her words and those of her speakers, across continents and generations. Since 1980, she has put her hand to more than twenty books, including poetry, anthologies, novels, and children’s literature, winning wide praise and many honors. 19 Varieties of Gazelle: Poems of the Middle East was a finalist for the National Book Award, and Nye was featured on NOW with Bill Moyers. She travels widely to teach poetry to students of all ages.

Supported by the Lecture Committee

 
     

 

 

 
 


Weinstein Auditorium, Wright Hall
7:30 PM

     
 

 

 

 

FRANK BIDART confronts questions of art and humanity in spare, elliptical poems, swift with movement. The process of making—by a deity, ruler, parent, artist, or self—is at the core of his poetic narratives, an incessant interior question embodied variously in dramatic monologue, mythic cycle, and found phrases. “The importance of Bidart’s work is difficult to overestimate,” writes Louise Glück. “Certainly he is one of the crucial figures of our time.” Bidart has published six volumes of poetry, most recently, Star Dust, a finalist for the National Book Award. A Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets, Frank Bidart lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts and teaches at Wellesley College.

Supported by Peggy Block Danziger ’62 & Richard Danziger

 
 

 

 

     
 


Weinstein Auditorium, Wright Hall
7:30 PM

 

     
 

 

ADDITIONAL SPRING READING!
Broadside Bookshop, in collaboration with the Poetry Center, presents:

GALWAY KINNELL & JOSEPHINE DICKINSON

The New York Times called Pulitzer Prize-winner Galway Kinnell "one of the true master poets of his generation." A major figure in American poetry for more than three decades, Kinnell's lucid and heartful poems have won him a large and passionate following. Critics often compare his work to that of Walt Whitman because of its transcendental philosophy and personal intensity. Kinnell will read from his brand new collection Strong Is Your Hold.

British poet Josephine Dickinson's American debut is entitled Silence Fell, perhaps a reference to her sudden deafness at age six. Just out from Houghton Mifflin, the book tells the story of her marriage to a Cambrian sheep farmer, a man more than twice her age, and their life together until his death in 2004-"a love story in the form of a modern shepherd's calendar." Dickinsonork was hailed by British critics as "a vision edged with mystery and rendered with arresting...craft."

For further information: http://www.broadsidebooks.com

 
         
    Bookselling and signing follow the readings.

Books provided by Broadside Bookshop, which generously donates a portion of the profits to our program.


Videos of many readings are available for viewing in the Neilson Library.
 
         
         
       
       
         
         
         
 



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