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September 16, 2008

Poet Spencer Reece to Read at Smith

Editor’s note: For a photo of Spencer Reece, contact Marti Hobbes at (413) 585-2190 or

NORTHAMPTON, Mass.—Smith College will present a reading by poet Spencer Reece at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 30, in Stoddard Auditorium. The event is free and open to the public.

Reece’s first book, “The Clerk’s Tale,” was chosen by poet Louise Glück to win the 2003 Bread Loaf Writer’s Conference Bakeless Poetry Prize. Reece wrote for two decades without affiliation or support, relying on his job as an assistant manager at Brooks Brothers for income, a fact that informs the title of his first collection of 50 poems.

Writer Henri Cole called Reece’s book “remarkable,” likening the poems to Gerard Manley Hopkins’ sonnets “not because of any similarity in style, but because of the unspoken sorrow lingering behind his descriptions of landscape and life.” Poet and novelist Annie Dillard has praised the book as well, describing the poems as “exquisitely restrained, shot through with a longing for permanence, from the quasi-monastic life of two salesmen at Brooks Brothers to the poignant lingering light of a Miami dusk to the weight of geography on an empty Minnesota farm.”

Born in Hartford, Conn., in 1963, Reece grew up in Minneapolis and graduated from Wesleyan University.  He went on to receive a master’s degree from the University of York, where he studied 17th-century romantic poets, and a master’s degree in theological studies from Harvard Divinity School. Recently, he has taught in the graduate creative writing program at Lesley University and will enter Yale Divinity School in the fall in preparation for ordination and to further his goal of becoming a hospice chaplain.

Reece’s reading will be followed by book sale and signing. For further information, contact the Poetry Center office at (413) 585-4891 or Annie Boutelle, Poetry Center founder, at (413) 585-3323.

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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