April 8, 2010

Lafayette Celebrates National Poetry Month

Feminist novelist and poet Marge Piercy will present a lecture on 19th century feminism April 14

Lafayette’s celebration of National Poetry Month includes a favorite poetry reading, sessions recognizing the winners of the College’s annual poetry competitions, and readings and lectures by renowned poets Marge Piercy, Major Jackson, and Yolanda Wisher Palacio ’98. All events are free and open to the public.

The month will kick off with a poetry reading by Piercy at noon Wednesday, April 14 in the Gendebien Room of Skillman Library. She will present an evening lecture on first-wave feminism and her novel Sex Wars at 7 p.m. in Oechsle Hall room 224. A book signing will follow.

An icon of women’s writing for more than three decades, Piercy is the author of 17 novels including The New York Times bestseller Gone To Soldiers and the feminist science fiction classic Woman on the Edge of Time. She has also written 17 volumes of poetry and a critically-acclaimed memoir, Sleeping with Cats.

Jackson and the winners of the MacKnight Black Poetry Competition will read their poetry at 7 p.m. Thursday, April 22, in the Kirby Hall of Civil Rights room 104. Earlier at 4:10 p.m., Jackson will hold a question-and-answer session in the Marlo Room of Farinon College Center. Wisher and the Jean Corrie Poetry Competition winners and will read their work at an ice cream social at 4:10 p.m. Thursday, April 29, in Marquis Hall, faculty dining room.

Jackson is the author of two collections of poetry: Hoops and Leaving Saturn, which won the Cave Canem Poetry Prize and was a finalist for a National Book Critics Circle Award. His third volume of poetry Holding Company is forthcoming from W.W. Norton. He is the Richard Dennis Green and Gold Professor at University of Vermont and serves as the poetry editor for the Harvard Review.

Wisher was named the first poet laureate of Montgomery County, Pa. in 1999. Her work has been published in the journals Ploughshares, Meridians, Fence, nocturnes, and Chain, as well as the anthologies Gathering Ground and The Ringing Ear: Black Poets Lean South. She is chair of the annual Germantown Poetry Festival and teaches English at Germantown Friends School.

National Poetry Month events are sponsored by the Arts Society, the Department of English, the Jewish Studies program, the Office of Intercultural Development, and the Women’s and Gender Studies program.


  • April 14, noon–Marge Piercy poetry reading, Gendebien Room of Skillman Library
  • April 14, 7 p.m.–Marge Piercy lecture on 19th century feminism, Oeschle Hall room 224
  • April 15, noon–Fifth annual Favorite Poem Reading, Williams Center for the Arts lobby
  • April 22, 4:10 p.m.–Major Jackson question-and-answer session, Marlo Room of Farinon College Center
  • April 22, 7 p.m.–MacKnight Black Poetry Competition and Major Jackson poetry reading, Kirby Hall of Civil Rights room 104
  • April 29, 4:10 p.m.– Jean Corrie Poetry Competition and Yolanda Wisher Palacio ’98 ice cream social and reading, Marquis Hall, faculty dining room

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