Acclaimed poet Joan Houlihan will deliver a craft lecture, titled “Ghosts in the Machine: the Autobiography of Pronoun,” as part of a one-week campus residency. The craft lecture is at 4:30 p.m. Thursday, March 6, in the Poetry Center, Wright Hall. The event is free and open to the public.


Houlihan is the author of four books of poetry, most recently, Ay (Tupelo Press). Her poetry has been anthologized in The Iowa Anthology of New American Poetries and The Book of Irish-American Poetry–Eighteenth Century to Present. She is a contributing critic for the Contemporary Poetry Review and author of a series of essays on contemporary American poetry archived online at She has taught at Columbia University and Emerson College and currently teaches in the Lesley University Low-Residency MFA Program and Clark University. Houlihan is founder and director of the Colrain Poetry Manuscript Conference.

Born and raised in Massachusetts, Houlihan’s early interest in poetry was inspired by poets T.S. Eliot and Gerard Manley Hopkins and by her experience with parochial school. Growing up in an Irish Catholic household, her first exposure to the “sonic textures” of poetry came in the form of religious psalms and parables. After completing her bachelor’s and master’s degrees at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, she worked as a technical writer, reporter and editor and went on to become a driving force in the poetry community.

Houlihan’s reading will be followed by a book sale and signing. For more information, contact Jennifer Blackburn at (413) 585-4891. A limited number of assistive listening devices are available. To reserve one, email Jennifer Blackburn at least one day prior to the reading. For disability access information or to request accommodations, call (413) 585-2407. To request a sign language interpreter specifically, call (413) 585-2071 (voice or TTY) or email All requests must be made at least 10 days prior to the event.