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March 28, 2007

Poet Frank Bidart to Read at Smith

Editor's note: For a photo of Frank Bidart, contact Marti Hobbes at 413/585-2190.

NORTHAMPTON, Mass.—Pulitzer Prize poetry finalist Frank Bidart will read at Smith College at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 17, in Weinstein Auditorium, Wright Hall. This event is sponsored by the Poetry Center and is free, open to the public and wheelchair accessible.

“The importance of Bidart’s work is difficult to overestimate; certainly he is one of the crucial figures of our time,” wrote poet Louise Gluck.

A chancellor of the Academy of American Poets, Bidart lives in Cambridge, Mass., and teaches at Wellesley College.  Beginning in 1973 with “Golden State,” which was chosen for the Braziller Series, Bidart has published six volumes of poetry, including “In the Western Night,” a volume of new and selected poems, and “Desire,” published in 1990 and 1997, respectively. In 2000, the Academy of American Poets presented him with the Wallace Stevens Award, recognizing a career that has spanned more than 30 years and continues its grand arcs in “Star Dust,” Bidart’s most recent volume and a finalist for the 2005 National Book Award.  “Star Dust” incorporates the 2002 sequence “Music Like Dirt,” the first chapbook ever to be a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize.

The process of making—by a deity, ruler, parent, artist or self—is at the core of Bidart’s poetic narratives. Other concerns that cycle through his poems are the shaping of minds and bodies and the artist’s responsibility to himself and his world.

Bidart’s visit to Smith is supported by Peggy Block Danziger, Smith College Class of 1962, and Richard Danziger.  The 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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