Acclaimed Poet James Sacré and Translator David Ball to Read

Smith College will host a reading by retired Smith professors James Sacré and David Ball at 4:30 p.m. Thursday, March 27, in the Poetry Center, Wright Hall. This reading, which is free and open to the public, will be in French with selected English translations.


James Sacré

Born to a farming family in the small village of Cougou in western France, Sacré has published more than 60 books of poetry. His poems have appeared in every major French literary journal, and he has won two major literary prizes for poetry and three smaller ones. He is a Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres and Doris Silbert Professor Emeritus in the Humanities at Smith, where he taught French for many years.


David Ball

David Ball, professor emeritus of French and comparative literature, is a poet in his own right and a practicing translator. He has published nine book-length collections from French (five with collaborator Nicole Ball.) Ball has translated Sacré’s poetry from French into English, capturing the wordplay, the cadences, the complexities of grammar and the slippages of syntax that are the hallmark of Sacré’s poetry. Ball’s translation of Henri Michaux’s poetry, Darkness Moves, was awarded the MLA’s Scaglione Prize for Outstanding Translation of a Literary Work in 1996.

For further information, contact Jennifer Blackburn at (413) 585-4891. 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.