Editor’s note: For high-res images of Dilruba Ahmed and Richard Jarrette, e-mail Marti Hobbes.

RJarretteBESONORTHAMPTON, Mass.—Smith College will present a reading by poets Dilruba Ahmed and Richard Jarrette at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 28, in Stoddard Hall Auditorium. This event is free and open to the public.

This event brings together two extraordinarily promising writers whose recently published first collections have won high praise. American-born Bangladeshi Dilruba Ahmed’s impressive debut, “Dhaka Dust,” won the 2010 Bakeless Literary Prize awarded by the Bread Loaf Writer’s Conference. It was selected by Arthur Sze, who praised its “rich and luminous weave” of cultural location and perspective. Sensuous language, indelible images, glimpses of transcendence—all these are put to brilliant use in poems of memory, motherhood, the globalized world, and the intimate struggle to feel at home in it, he noted.

A writer, editor and educator with roots in Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Bangladesh, Ahmed earned an undergraduate degree from the University of Pittsburgh and a Master of Fine Arts degree from Warren Wilson College.

Richard Jarrette’s debut collection, “Beso the Donkey,” prompts wonder, laughter and tears, according to reviewers. A poetry cycle about a wounded and abandoned jackass and his caregiver’s attempts to understand and heal him, this “profound, grave, and original book investigates all being, and all attention, through one scarred, silent, four-footed master of the pasture,” wrote poet Jane Hirshfield.

A psychotherapist with nearly 40 years of experience specializing in abused, damaged and neglected adults, teenagers and children, Jarrette directed an alcohol and drug recovery treatment center as well as a counseling center adjacent to the San Quentin State Prison for families of inmates. Jarrette attended the University of Southern California and the University of California, Los Angeles, and The Fielding Institute and earned degrees in clinical psychology and in English. He lives in Los Olivos, Calif.

The Ahmed and Jarrette reading will be followed by book sale and signing. For further information, call Jennifer Blackburn in the Poetry Center office at (413) 585-4891 or Ellen Doré Watson, Poetry Center director, at (413) 585-3368.

For disability access information or to request assisted listening devices, call (413) 585-2407. To request a sign language interpreter specifically, call (413) 585-2071 (voice or TTY) or e-mail ODS@smith.edu. All requests must be made at least 10 days prior to the event.

Office of College Relations
Smith College
Garrison Hall
Northampton, Massachusetts 01063
Marti Hobbes
News Assistant
T (413) 585-2190
F (413) 585-2174