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March 17, 2011

Poet Maxine Kumin and High School Prize-winners to Read at Smith

Editor’s note: For a high-res image of Maxine Kumin, e-mail Marti Hobbes.

Maxine KuminNORTHAMPTON, Mass.—Smith College will present a reading by poet Maxine Kumin and the winner and finalists of a poetry contest for high school girls at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 29, in Weinstein Auditorium, Wright Hall. The event, which is free and open to the public, can be viewed live on the Internet.

Kumin served as the judge of the fifth annual Smith College Poetry Prize for High School Girls in New England. She selected as the winner Juliet Rose Wunrow, who attends U-32 High School in Montpelier, Vt., and four finalists: Natalie Freidin of Marblehead High School, Marblehead, Mass.; Hayley McKie of Algonquin Regional High School, Northborough, Mass.; Reina Sekiguchi, also of Marblehead High School; and Katie Spencer of Sharon Academy, Sharon, Vt. In addition, 11 semi-finalists were selected, representing the states of Massachusetts, Vermont, Connecticut and Maine.

Kumin, one of the most celebrated and enduring figures in American literature, is the author of 13 books of poems, five novels, four essay collections, short stories and more than 20 children’s books, four of which she co-authored with her close friend the late Anne Sexton.

Along with a Pulitzer Prize, Kumin’s long list of honors includes the Ruth Lily Poetry Prize, the Robert Frost Medal, the Poet’s Prize and the Paterson Prize for Distinguished Literary Achievement. She has held teaching positions at some of the most prestigious schools in the country and in 1981 was named Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress, a position now known as the United States Poet Laureate. She also served as poet laureate of New Hampshire from 1989 to 1994.

To commemorate Kumin’s visit to Smith and as part of the Poetry Center’s growing broadside series, Barry Moser, Printer to the College, has made a fine letterpress broadside of an excerpt of her poem “Grace,” complete with an original illustration. The broadside’s public unveiling will take place on March 29, when it will be available for sale at a one-time reduced price.

Support for Kumin’s reading was given in memory of Maggie Soule ’63 and in celebration of her love of life and literature by her many Smith friends and classmates. The reading will be followed by a book sale and signing. For further information, contact 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 All requests must be made at least 10 days prior to the event.

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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