Making poetry accessible to a wide audience has always been a part of The Boutelle-Day Poetry Center’s mission. In addition to special initiatives and facilitating poetry-related collaborations on campus, we regularly offer blocks of reserve seats at our readings to local schools and community groups. We donate a book by each visiting poet to the Northampton High School library, and we offer Smith students assistance with their annual poetry slam. We have collaborated on programming with The Emily Dickinson Museum, Northampton Arts Council, Sustainable Step New England and others.
Our Spring 2023 Reading Series
- Ross Gay, September 26
- Jamaica Baldwin ’08 and Abby Minor ’08, October 17
- Tuhin Das, October 24
- Yona Harvey, November 7
- Matthew Olzmann and Vievee Francis, November 28
- Mark Wunderlich, December 12
Registration/livestream info (where applicable) can be found on this page and on our Facebook page and Linktree in our Instagram bio. All events are Tuesdays at 7 p.m. in Leo Weinstein Auditorium in Wright Hall unless noted otherwise.
Gabrielle Calvocoressi: Mary Oliver, A Handsome Life: March 23, 4:30 p.m., Weinstein Auditorium
On the Radar
Poetry Center Renga Project
Smith College Renga #1: Voices From Afield
Read the Poetry Center’s first renga, with stanzas contributed from Matt Donovan, Clare O’Gara, Rosetta Cohen, Ira Goga, Floyd Cheung, Arda Collins, Sean Joyce-Farley, Jen Blackburn, Allex Dawn, Bill Hagen, Maggie Olszewski and Ellen Doré Watson. Renga is a Japanese form that originated in the 12th century, and the name means “linked poem.” Participants only see the stanza that directly precedes their own, so any thematic links that emerge are often surprising and speak to the tone of the times in which the poem is written.
Read Voices from Afield
This spring, as a campus, we’ll be taking Whitman’s Leaves of Grass and transforming it into something new. A common reassemble reenvisions the words and ideas of iconic works. Learn more about this exciting poetry project across campus!
Support our Local Bookstore!
Most books written, translated or edited by our series readers can be found online at Northampton’s Broadside Books.
Interview With Director Matt Donovan
If it’s been a while since you’ve come by The Poetry Center to see what we’ve been up to, here is a fantastic interview with our director Matt Donovan in the Smith Alumnae Quarterly.
If possible, links to recordings of the current season’s readings will be posted soon after each event.
The Poetry Center has hosted hundreds of poets, including more than a dozen Pulitzer Prize winners and five Poets Laureate, as well as poets who are relatively unknown and whose work has been translated from other languages. We have recorded most readings, and they are available from the Neilson Library (on VHS up to 2006, and on DVD from 2006 onward).
In 2009, local writer, teacher and interviewer Christian McEwen proposed that the Poetry Center partner with her in creating “Sparks from the Anvil,” a five-year project aimed at building an audio archive of interviews with poets. Select visiting poet interviews are available and offer lively conversations concerning the poets’ biographies, writing practices, influences and developments in their work, and their sense of the contemporary poetry scene.