Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Mary Oliver to read at Smith

Date: 9/22/2009

NORTHAMPTON Smith College will present a reading by poet Mary Oliver at 7:30 p.m. on Sept. 29 in John M. Greene Hall. The event is free and open to the public. The doors will open at 6 p.m.

A long-time resident of Provincetown, Mass., Oliver is renowned and beloved for her evocative and precise rendering of the natural world, offering gorgeous as well as disturbing and brutal images. Her many books 26 at present count are essential to a wide spectrum of readers the world over.

Following her receipt of a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship, a Shelley Memorial Award, a Guggenheim, and an American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters Achievement Award, Oliver went on to win the 1984 Pulitzer Prize for "American Primitive." Oliver's most recent collections include "Red Bird," an immediate national bestseller upon publication in 2008, and "Evidence," out this year. In October 2007, Beacon Press published "Our World," with text by Oliver accompanying a collection of photos by Molly Malone Cook, her partner for many years, and a pioneer gallery owner and photographer. Oliver is currently guest editor for The Best American Essays, 2009.

To commemorate Oliver's visit to Smith and as part of the Smith College Poetry Center's growing broadside series, Barry Moser, Printer to the College, has made a fine letterpress broadside of her poem "Violets" from the newly released "Evidence" (Beacon Press, 2009). The broadside's public unveiling will take place at the reading, when it will be available for sale at a one-time reduced price.

Oliver's reading will be followed by a book sale and signing. For further information, call Michaela Cahillane in the Poetry Center office at 585-4891 or Ellen Dor Watson, director, at 585-3368.

For disability access information or to request accommodations, call 585-2407. To request a sign language interpreter specifically, call 585-2071 (voice or TTY) or e-mail ODS@smith.edu. All requests must be made at least 10 days prior to the event.