Other Local Poetry Events

Archive of Readings





Tuesday, September 28
Sage Hall
7:30 PM




  Martha Rhodes



Rita Dove is an American treasure. Recipient of many of the nation’s highest cultural honors and former U.S. Poet Laureate, her work has won wide critical praise and reflects her interest in music and drama, as well as her commitment to social justice and women's issues. A writer of startling breadth, Dove has written plays, stories, and a novel, in addition to six books of poems, most recently, Sonata Mulattica, which dramatizes the life of the Afro-Polish violin virtuoso Polgreen Bridgetower. Dove’s “magnificent poems pay homage to our kaleidoscopic cultural heritage,” writes The Kansas City Star. She is Commonwealth Professor of English at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville.

Supported by Afro-American Studies, American Studies, English Department, Lecture Committee, and the Program for the Study of Women and Gender





Tuesday, October 3
Neilson Browsing Room
7:30 PM


  Valerie Gillies

Radical feminist poet Hiromi Ito has been a key figure in Japanese poetry since the late 1970’s, noted for her innovative experiments with language. Praised by Jerome Rothenberg for her “relentlessly exuberant mind” and by Anne Waldman for exploring “the exigencies and delights of the paradoxically restless/rooted female body,” Ito is the author of collections of fiction, nonfiction, and poetry, including one translated into English, Killing Kanoko: Selected poems of Hiromi Ito.

Presented by East Asian Languages and Literatures





Tuesday, October 19
Stoddard Hall Auditorium
7:30 PM


  Chase Twichell

Ellen Doré Watson writes with distinctive sass and ferocity. This reading celebrates her fifth collection, Dogged Hearts, which Gerald Stern calls a “powerful, wildly lyric, and wise book,” while Tony Hoagland observes that “her work reminds us why the arts are called the humanities: because they remind us how to be human.” Watson’s recent awards include fellowships from the MacDowell Colony and the Vermont Studio Center. She serves as co-editor of The Massachusetts Review, teaches in the Drew University MFA program in Poetry and Translation, and at Smith, and has directed the Poetry Center since 1999.





Tuesday, November 16
Stoddard Hall Auditorium
7:30 PM


  Tracy K. Smith

Dana Levin is a rising star in the poetry world. Louise Glück described her award-winning first book, In the Surgical Theatre, as “sensuous, compassionate, violent, extravagant…a book of terror and marvels.” Levin’s second collection, Wedding Day was praised as “laser-visioned and transcendent,” as well as “intimate and hypnotic.” Recipient of fellowships from the Lannan, Whiting, Witter Bynner, and Guggenheim foundations, Levin holds the Russo Endowed Chair in Creative Writing at the University of New Mexico and teaches in the Warren Wilson MFA Program.

In addition: Wednesday, November 17, 7:30 pm in Nielson Browsing Room:
A lecture by Dana Levin—“I am: Sylvia Plath, Poetic Form & the Creation of Self”
in honor of A Room of Her Own Foundation’s Tenth Anniversary





Tuesday, December 7
Weinstein Auditorium
7:30 PM



*Rescheduled for November 1, 2011!

Sara London


One of America’s most celebrated poets, John Ashbery has long defied any singular artistic identity, “juggling the infinite possibilities of genre,” as critic Helen Vendler put it. Author of twenty poetry collections, as well as plays, fiction, and art criticism, he has received countless awards, including the Pulitzer Prize, the National Book Critics Circle Award, the National Book Award, and the MacArthur Prize fellowship. Ashbery also served as New York’s poet laureate from 2001 to 2003. As noted by The New York Times, he is “young at heart, constantly pushing toward —and then slipping past— gorgeous, electric passages in search of what counts.”

  Events   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.



Matthew Dickman Mary Oliver Susan Stewart T.S. Ellis Michael Dickman Smith College Smith College Smith College