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Poetry in Action

Image of students writing

Making poetry accessible to a wide audience has always been a part of The 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.

Events & Announcements

Poetry Center Fall 2019 Reading Series 

  • September 24, Terrance Hayes
  • October 8, Dana Levin
  • November 5, Camille Dungy
  • November 19, Lee Ann Roripaugh
  • December 10, Ciaran Berry

All of our main schedule readings are free and open to the public and begin at 7:30 p.m. Books can be purchased onsite and signings follow the readings. More detail can be found on our home page.

30 Poems in November Reading and Celebration

Tuesday, December 3, 2019
Weinstein Auditorium, Wright Hall, 7 p.m.
An annual celebration of Center for New Americans' month-long poetry writing fundraiser to support immigrant education and literacy programming in the Valley. A reception follows in the Poetry Center after the reading.

First Annual Poetry Translation Slam

Wednesday, December 4, 2019
Poetry Center, Wright Hall, 7 p.m.
We’re excited about our First Annual Poetry Translation Slam! This year’s languages are Chinese, Italian and Spanish. See the poems in their original languages. For more information, please see the flyers posted in Wright Hall or feel free to email any questions to Rosetta Cohen, Matt Donovan or Jen Blackburn.

Poetry Reading with Soukaina Habiballah

Thursday, December 5, 2019
Poetry Center, Wright Hall, 7 p.m.
Soukaina Habiballah is a multi-genre author, writing poetry, screenplays, and fiction. Habiballah won the 2015 Buland Al Haidari Prize for Arabic poetry and the 2019 Nadine Shames Prize for Young Arab Screenwriters for her short film "Who Left the Door Open?". Her poetry has been translated into seven languages (including English).

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's a fantastic interview with our director Matt Donovan from the new Smith Alumnae Quarterly.

Five College Creative Writing Calendar

Keep up-to-date on creative writing events happening at all of the Five Colleges.

Audio & Video Recordings


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.



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 Welsh, Basque, Spanish, Irish, Slovenian, Arabic, Korean and Serbo-Croatian. We have recorded most of the readings, and they are available from Neilson Library (on VHS up to 2006, and on DVD from 2006 onward).


Poetry Resources



Support Our Programming

Every gift helps, whether to fund a visit by a far-flung poet or to support our outreach activities, video and library collection or student staff. Donate online or make checks payable to Smith College and mail to the Smith College Poetry Center, c/o Gift Accounting, Stoddard Annex, 23 Elm Street, Northampton, MA 01063. Thank you for your generous support!