This semester, the Trias Residency for Writers will host its first Trias Poet in Residence, Eleni Sikelianos. From Monday, March 11, to Friday, March 15, Sikelianos will lead the campus in a “Week of Poetry.” Throughout the week, a series of events will explore poetry through reading, an open question and answer forum, and a talk on the art of poetry.
Kicking off the week-long celebration, Sikelianos will give a reading of her work on Monday, March 11, at 7:30 p.m. in Hirshson Ballroom.
“It will be great for Geneva and Hobart and William Smith to have another high-caliber writer in our midst for an extended stay. In large part because of the Trias residency, HWS is becoming a top undergraduate college for creative writing,” explains Assistant Professor of English Kathryn Cowles. “Having an important writer in our midst starts conversations about writing and gets people interested in reading challenging things they otherwise might not. That individual and collective expansion that takes place in the face of challenging art and ideas – that’s what college is about.”
Cowles was first introduced to Sikelianos’ work as a graduate student, when the poet was in residence at the University of Utah. “Eleni is one of the best readers and teachers of poetry I’ve ever encountered in all my years. She finds the hearts of poems and helps her students pare away things that distract from those hearts,” says Cowles. “I’m thrilled to be able to give my own students this extraordinary opportunity I had when I was younger. I think her conferences with my students will be equally formative and important to them as writers.”
For those hoping to get a glimpse into the work and process of Sikelianos, the poet will host a Q&A session on Wednesday, March 13, beginning at 12:25 p.m. in the Blackwell Room. Poets seeking a deeper look at the creation and development of poetry are encouraged to join Sikelianos for a “Craft Talk” on Thursday, March 14, at 4:30 p.m. in the Blackwell Room.
Sikelianos is the author of the hybrid memoir “The Book of Jon” and seven books of poetry. Her most recent work is this year’s “The Loving Detail of the Living & the Dead.” She also worked to translate Jacques Roubaud’s “Exchanges on Light,” and has been the recipient of numerous awards and grants, including a National Endowment for the Arts and the National Poetry Series prize.
In addition to her publications, Sikelianos has taught poetry in public schools, homeless shelters, and prisons. She serves as guest faculty for the Naropa Summer Writing Program, for L’Ecole de Littérature in France and Morocco, and she also teaches in – and directs – the Creative Writing Ph.D. program at the University of Denver.
All events are free and open to the public.