Welsh Poet Gwyneth Lewis to Read at Smith
NORTHAMPTON, Mass.—Smith College will present a reading by acclaimed Welsh poet Gwyneth Lewis at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 10, in Neilson Library Browsing Room. The event is free and open to the public.
Named the first National Poet (2005-2006) of her native Wales, Lewis has published six books of poetry in Welsh and English. Her first collection in English, “Parables and Faxes,” was praised by poet Gillian Clarke as “outrageously imaginative, witty and musical…The poems are funny and bold, surreal and beautiful…A daringly fresh voice that Welsh writing desperately needs.” Her second book in English, “Zero Gravity,” covered new territory for poetry. Its title sequence is essentially one part space documentary and one part requiem for a sister-in-law. The poem draws on the experience of watching her astronaut cousin repair the Hubble Space Telescope. The late Nobel Laureate Joseph Brodsky said these poems “form a universe whose planets use language for oxygen and thus are inhabitable.” In addition to poetry, Lewis has written three libretti for the Welsh National Opera.
Lewis studied creative writing at Columbia and Harvard universities before earning a doctorate in English from the University of Oxford. She was made a Harkness Fellow and worked as a freelance journalist in New York for several years, returning to Cardiff to work as a documentary producer and director at BBC Wales, where she won a British Academy of Film and Television Award. She is currently a freelance writer and has been appointed the 2008-2009 Mildred Londa Weisman Fellow at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard.
Lewis’ reading will be followed by a book sale and signing. For further information, call Michaela Cahillane 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 accommodations, 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.