Smith College Admission Academics Student Life About Smith news Offices
News Release

April 8, 2008

40 Alumnae Poets Will  Read at Smith to Celebrate Poetry Center's 10th Anniversary

NORTHAMPTON, Mass.—Smith College will conclude the celebration of the 10th anniversary year of its Poetry Center with a sampling of readings by alumnae poets at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 22, in Weinstein Auditorium to be followed by a gala reception.  The reading and reception are free and open to the public.

Forty alumnae poets from 11 states and representing graduating classes spanning 1950 to 2007 will each read one poem in celebration of the anniversary and the long tradition of poetry at Smith. Throughout the years, Smith has hosted Matthew Arnold, William Butler Yeats, Robert Frost and W. H. Auden. Richard Wilbur still retains the title of poet emeritus, and the college has produced many fine poets, the most well-known among them alumnae Sylvia Plath and Constance Carrier, winner of the Lamont Prize in 1954.

The alumnae reading will include the following group of diverse and distinguished writers:

  • Jane Yolen ‘60, beloved “Hans Christian Andersen of America” and author of nearly 300 books, who has published two volumes of adult poetry, most recently “The Radiation Sonnets”
  • Jane Rawlings ‘59, archivist at a 19th-century historic house museum and author of the acclaimed novel-in-verse “The Penelopeia,” recently published by David R. Godine
  • Celia Gilbert ‘64, printmaker, painter and author of three books of poetry, most recently “An Ark of Sorts,” winner of the first Jane Kenyon chapbook award from Alice James Books
  • Pamela Harrison ‘68, author of “Okie Chronicles,” a novel-in-poems about a farming family on the plains of Oklahoma in the 1950s, and “My Mother, Your Mother,” an anticipatory guide for families caring for frail elders, just out from Harper Collins, co-written with her husband, Dr. Dennis McCullough
  • Susan Snively ‘67, director of the writing center at Amherst College and author of four books of poetry, including “Skeptic Traveler”

Other local alumnae poets participating in the reading include Rosalyn Driscoll ‘67, award-winning sculptor; Carolyn Benson ‘63, founder of Voices from Inside; Susie Patlove ‘69 and Susan T. Middleton ’69 of Slate Roof poetry press; Carol V. Paul ‘71, novelist and retired real estate broker; Marsha Smith Janson ‘87, who recently earned a master’s in creative writing; and Peggy Gillespie ‘69, journalist and director of Family Diversity Projects.

A book sale and signing will follow the event, and a sample of the poets’ works is available in the anthology of 60-plus alumnae poets found on the Poetry Center’s Web site.  The Poetry Center’s growing collection of fine letterpress broadsides designed and created by Barry Moser will also be available for purchase at the reading, after which a gala reception will be held in the Poetry Center and on Wright Hall terrace. For more information, call Cindy Furtek in the Poetry Center office at (413) 585-4891 or Ellen Doré Watson, 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

Current News &

News Release

DirectoryCalendarCampus MapVirtual TourContact UsSite A-Z