University of Vermont

University Communications

Award-Winning Authors, Poets to Read, Lecture on Campus this Fall

The English Department hosts two series this fall that will bring writers and poets to read, recite and discuss their work. All events are free and open to the public.

Pulitzer Prize-winning author Tracy K. Smith launches the Writers Workshop series with a reading and discussion Saturday, Sept. 22 at 4 p.m. at Main Street Landing. Her event is also part of the Burlington Book Festival. Smith won the Pulitzer for her most recent book, Life on Mars. Her second collection, Duende (2007), won the 2006 James Laughlin Award from the Academy of American Poets and an Essence Literary Award. Noted for her "lyric brilliance and political impulses," Smith's poems speak largely to the role of art and to the conception of what it means to be American.

Kicking off the season's Painted Word Poetry series, an event co-hosted by and held at UVM's Fleming Museum, are poets Cathy Park Hong and Neil Shephard, Wednesday, Sept. 26 at 6 p.m. Curated by English professor Major Jackson, the Painted Word poetry series highlights established and emergent poets whose work represents significant explorations into language, song, and art.

Other Writers Workshop events include Pushcart Prize winner Cheryl Strayed, author of the New York Times #1 bestseller Wild, the New York Times bestseller Tiny Beautiful Things, and the novel Torch, Thursday, Oct. 4, at 7 p.m. in 108 Lafayette Hall, and Mark Doty, the author of three memoirs: the bestselling Dog Years (2007), Firebird (1999), and Heaven's Coast (1997). Doty, who will speak Thursday, Oct. 11 at 7 p.m. in the Sugar Maple Ballroom, Davis Center, is the only American poet to have won Great Britain's T.S. Eliot Prize.

The Painted Word Poetry Series continues Wednesday. Oct. 31 with poets Brenda Shaughnessy and Jon Woodward and returns Wednesday, Nov. 28 with Prageeta Sharma and Jeffrey McDaniel. Both events will be held at 6 p.m. in the Fleming Museum.

The Writers Workshop and the Painted Word Poetry Series are made possible with funding from the James and Mary Brigham Buckham Fund.