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Poetry Center to Have a New Home

Thanks in large part to a gift from an anonymous donor, the campus space heretofore known as Wright Hall Common Room is being transformed into the permanent home of the Smith College Poetry Center.

The new Poetry Center space will include a library, including signed copies of books by all the poets who have visited Smith, as well as a welcoming reading space open to the Smith community.

Also, the space will feature exhibitions of manuscripts and books from the Rare Book Room. Its opening exhibition will highlight selections from the college’s Sylvia Plath collection.

The Poetry Center, now in its seventh year, has operated without a permanent space, but began with the goal of eventually establishing a facility on campus. The center, which is directed by Ellen Doré Watson, lecturer in the English department, has grown in prominence and popularity on campus, regularly attracting students and community members by the hundreds to its scheduled readings by prominent poets.

On Tuesday, March 23, the center will host a reading at 7:30 p.m. in the Neilson Browsing Room by poets Marie Howe and Marie Ponsot.

The new center, located just inside the Wright Hall entrance, will be available for reservations for appropriate events by Smith faculty, and administrative and academic departments.

The Poetry Center will formally open on Tuesday, April 27, at 4:30 p.m. with remarks and poems read by President Carol Christ and invited guests. A reading by Louise Glück, the Poet Laureate of the United States, will take place in Wright Hall Auditorium at 7:30 p.m., followed by a reception in the Poetry Center and on the Wright Hall terrace.

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