Trias Welcomes Sommer – Hobart and William Smith Colleges \
The HWS Update

Trias Welcomes Sommer

Poet Piotr Sommer will join the Colleges for the first time on Wednesday, May 1, for a reading as part of the Trias Series. The talk and poetry session will begin at 5 p.m. in the Blackwell Room. Sommer will return to campus this fall when he will serve as the 2013-2014 Trias Writer-in-Residence.

Sommer will participate in a one-year residency on campus to work with the Colleges’ best student writers. As part of the residency, he will also offer a public reading and lecture, and participate in a service event for the greater Geneva community.

Hailed by many for his work, American poet John Ashberry noted, “Piotr Sommer is the great poet of ‘everyday loneliness, contrary to your self, perhaps.'” Sommer is also often noted for his informal tone and ironic, almost teasing words that manage to convey something much darker.

Sommer is the author of more than a dozen books of poetry, as well as many translations from contemporary American, English and Irish poetry. He authored “Przed snem” (“Before Sleep”), a book of poems for children, and his most recent book in English is “Continued.” He is also the editor of the prestigious World Literature in Translation (Literatury na swiecie).

He has received numerous awards including the Silesius Poetry Prize 2010 and fellowships from the National Humanities Center in North Carolina 2005, DAAD in Berlin 2008, and Whitney Humanities Center at Yale 2009. He is currently working on his selected poems and a new collection of essays.

The Trias Residency for Writers is supported by The Peter Trias Endowed Fund for Poetry and Creative Writing. This valuable fund was established through a generous bequest from Peter J. Trias ’70. Trias graduated from Hobart with a bachelor’s degree in English, and went on to earn his MFA in poetry from the Iowa Writers Workshop in 1972. In 1976, he published a collection of poems, The House in Venice.

For more information about The Peter Trias Residency for Writers, visit the website at or contact David Weiss, director of the Trias Residency for Writers, at