Smith Celebrates the
Power of Words in Poetry
As it marks the beginning of its 10th year,
the Poetry Center is launching the first annual Smith College Poetry Prize for High
School Girls, open to sophomore and junior girls in Massachusetts. The winner will
receive $500, and she and three finalists will read their poems at Smith in April
2007. The judge for the 2007 competition is award-winning poet Naomi Shihab Nye.
Submissions—a maximum of 25 lines, one poem per student—will be accepted
through December 1.
The center plans a 10-year anniversary celebration to be held over the 2007–08 academic year. Since
its founding, the Poetry Center has sought to connect the work of the classroom with the world of poetry
by hosting a steady stream of distinguished poets and has emerged as a major literary force on campus.
Indeed, over the years Smith students and community members have flocked to hear the famous and the inspiring
read their poems. Among those were Pulitzer Prize–winner Gwendolyn Brooks, an icon of modern American
poetry, who, at the age of 83, made one of her last appearances before her death. More than a thousand
people attended her 2000 reading.
Billy Collins visited Smith during his one-year term as the Library of Congress poet laureate. Lawrence
Ferlinghetti and Galway Kinnell have also given readings, as have Stanley Kunitz Mary Oliver, Joy Harjo,
Richard Wilbur, Adrienne Rich, Daniel Berrigan and W. S. Merwin.
Visit www.smith.edu/poetrycenter/highschoolprize.html for more information.
7:30 p.m., September 26, Weinstein Auditorium, Wright Hall
Born in war-torn Eastern Europe in 1938 and an emigrant from Belgrade as a boy, the
Pulitzer Prize–winner and MacArthur Foundation “genius grant” recipient
has written more than 60 books. In 1995, Simic was elected to the American Academy
of Arts and Letters, the highest formal recognition of artistic merit in the United
Ellen Doré Watson
7:30 p.m., October 24, Stoddard Auditorium
Praised by Robert Pinsky as “an eloquent, passionate poet” and named
by Library Journal as “one of 24 Poets for the 21st Century,” Watson
serves as co-editor of The Massachusetts Review and leads local writing workshops.
She teaches in the English department at Smith and has directed the Poetry Center
Anne Marie Macari
7:30 p.m., November 14, Stoddard Auditorium
Anne Marie Macari ’s Ivory Cradle was selected by Robert Creeley to win the
APR/Honickman First Book prize, and her second book, Gloryland, was dubbed “sumptuously
visceral” by Publisher’s Weekly. She teaches in New England College’s
Master of Fine Arts Program and lives in New Jersey.
7:30 p.m., December 5, Stoddard Auditorium
Considered one of the most compelling new voices in contemporary poetry, Terrance
Hayes consistently engages his readers, boldly wondering “if outrunning your
captors is not the real meaning of Race?” He teaches creative writing at Carnegie
Mellon University and has published three books since 1999, mostly recently Wind
in a Box.