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January 31, 2007

Poet Robin Becker to Read and Give Lecture on Maxine Kumin at Smith

Editor’s note: For a photo of Robin Becker, call 413/585-2190 or e-mail

NORTHAMPTON, Mass.—Smith College will present a reading by poet Robin Becker at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 13, in Stoddard Auditorium. Becker will also deliver a lecture, “When the Personal Is Political: Maxine Kumin’s Poems of  Transformation and Accountability,” at 4 p.m., Thursday, Feb. 15, in the Poetry Center, Wright Hall. Both events are free, open to the public and wheelchair accessible.

Becker will spend a week at Smith, inaugurating the first in a series of annual extended visits by poets, supported by a generous gift from Smith alumna Tammis Day ‘05. In addition to the reading and lecture, Becker will be giving a master class and individual conferences with student poets.

The poems in Robin Becker’s first book, “Backtalk” (1982), were praised by poet Carole Oles “for the wit, tenacity, compassion they enlist.” Since then, Becker has gained national acclaim for “Giacometti's Dog” (1990); “All-American Girl” (1992), winner of the 1996 Lambda Literary Award in Lesbian Poetry; and “The Horse Fair,” which poet Jane Miller called “one soulful book of poems.” 

A four-time nominee for the Pushcart Prize, Becker is recipient of fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Bunting Institute of Radcliffe College, The Center for Lesbian and Gay Studies of the City University of New York, The William Steeple Davis Foundation and the Massachusetts Artist Foundation. She is professor of English and women’s studies at Pennsylvania State University, where in 2000 she was awarded The George W. Atherton Award for Excellence in Teaching. A passionate feminist and lesbian activist, Becker also serves as poetry editor and columnist for The Women’s Review of Books. 

Becker’s visit to Smith is supported by the Program for the Study of Women and Gender. Her Tuesday night reading will be followed by a book sale and signing. For further information, contact Cindy Furtek in the Poetry Center office at (413) 585-4891 or Ellen Doré Watson, director, at (413) 585-3368.

Office of College Relations
Smith College
Garrison Hall
Northampton, Massachusetts 01063

Marti Hobbes
News Assistant
T (413) 585-2190
F (413) 585-2174

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