Contemporary Writers Series 2013-2014

FALL 2013

Stephen Kuusisto imageStephen Kuusisto

Thursday, October 17, 7:00 p.m.
Montante Cultural Center

Stephen Kuusisto is the author of two memoirs, Planet of the Blind and Eavesdropping: A Memoir of Blindness and Listening, and two collections of poetry, Only Bread, Only Light and Letters to Borges. A graduate of Hobart College and the Writer’s Workshop at the University of Iowa, and a Fulbright Scholar, he is director of the Renée Crown University Honors Program at Syracuse University, where he holds a University Professorship in the Center on Human Policy, Law, and Disability Studies.

Web Resources

Stephen Kuusisto’s Home Page
An interview in which Stephen discusses blindness and memoir writing
A Brief Biography
National Public Radio Commentaries on a variety of topics, listening, traveling, and the Fourth of July
Stephen’s Blog
Reading from Letters to Borges
An Interview with Jule Ann Lieberman
Performing the Kennedy-Nixon Debate


Tracy Smith imageTracy K. Smith

Thursday, March 13, 7:00 p.m.
Grupp Fireside Lounge

Born in Massachusetts, Tracy K. Smith earned her BA from Harvard University and an MFA in creative writing from Columbia University. From 1997 to 1999 she held a Stegner fellowship at Stanford University. She is the author of three books of poetry: The Body's Question (2003), which won the Cave Canem prize for the best first book by an African-American poet; Duende (2007), winner of the James Laughlin Award and the Essence Literary Award; and Life on Mars (2011), which won the 2012 Pulitzer Prize for Poetry. She teaches at Princeton University and lives in Brooklyn.

Web Resources

Tracy K. Smith's Poetry Foundation Page
New York Times Review of Life on Mars
PBS NewsHour Interview and Reading
Discussing The Life of Writing
NPR Feature: Why Poetry Matters
Princeton Faculty Page
"Self Portrait as the Letter Y" from Post Road

Paula Meehan image

Paula Meehan

Thursday, April 3, 7:00 p.m.
Montante Cultural Center
11th Annual Hassett Reading

Paula Meehan was raised in two working-class districts in Dublin. She attended Trinity College and earned an MFA in creative writing from Eastern Washington University. She is the author of six collections of poetry, most recently Painting Rain. She has also written plays and has taught at Trinity College and at University College Dublin. She’s received the Martin Tonder Award for Literature, the Butler Award for Poetry from the Irish American Cultural Institute, and has had two of her volumes of poetry short-listed for the Irish Times Literary Award. She lives in Dublin and conducts workshops in universities, inner-city communities, and prisons. In September 2013, the President of Ireland, Michael D. Higgins, announced Paula Meehan as the Ireland Professor of Poetry.

Web Resources

Facebook Page with links to news, essays, reviews, and interviews
A 2014 reading with other poets laureate
Reading “Hannah, Grandmother”
Poetry International entry
Review of Painting Rain