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April 2, 2009


Muldoon to share stage with winners of high school poetry award

Poet Paul MuldoonNORTHAMPTON, Mass.—On April 21, Smith College will host a reading by award-winning poet Paul Muldoon, who will share the stage with four Massachusetts teens whom he selected as winners of the 2009 Smith College Poetry Competition for High School Girls.  The event, which will take place at 7:30 p.m. in Weinstein Auditorium, Wright Hall, is free and open to the public.

Playwright, essayist, translator, librettist, children’s book author, teacher, musician and, foremost, poet Muldoon has won many distinguished awards, including the Pulitzer Prize. Born and raised in County Armagh, Northern Ireland, in a house without books, he has lived in the United States for more than 20 years. Generally regarded as the leading Irish poet of his generation, Muldoon is legendary for his sidelong wit, formal ingenuity and linguistic exuberance. He is poetry editor of The New Yorker and teaches at Princeton University.

The first-place winner of the Smith College Poetry Competition is Taylor Clarke from Philips Academy, who won for her poem “Charlotte Mason.” The runners-up and their winning entries are Gabriella Fee from Walnut Hill School for “Nobska”; Stephanie Saywell from Lawrence Academy for “Candlewick”; and Bryna Cofrin-Shaw from Stoneleigh Burnham for “Things Change Size.”

The poetry competition is a statewide contest open to sophomores and juniors. Submissions were received from all parts of the state and from public, private and home-schooled students. Muldoon chose the winning poems from among 11 finalists, selected anonymously by a committee of students and faculty.

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  All requests must be made at least 10 days prior to the event.

For more information about the Smith College Poetry Competition for High School Girls or the Smith College Poetry Center, visit

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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