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The HWS Update

Trias Resident to Present

Poet Piotr Sommer will present his first poetry reading of the semester on Tuesday, Sept. 17 as part of the Trias Series. The reading will take place at 7:30 p.m. in Hirshson Ballroom. The community is invited to attend.

Sommer is the 2013-2014 Trias Writer-in-Residence at HWS. As such, he is participating in a one-year residency on campus, working with the Colleges’ best student writers and offering public readings and lectures.

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. The 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.”

The next reading in the Trias Series will take place Thursday, Oct. 17, when Michael Longley of Belfast, Northern Ireland comes to campus. Longley has published eight collections of poetry including “Gorse Fires” (1991), which won the Whitbread Poetry Award, and “The Weather in Japan” (2000), which won the T. S. Eliot Prize and the Irish Times Poetry Prize. “Snow Water” (2004) was awarded the Librex Montale Prize. He has also received the Queen’s Gold Medal for Poetry and the Wilfred Owen Award. He is one of the seminal poets to emerge in Ireland in 1960s and ‘70s.

Tomaž Šalamun will join the Trias Series on Tuesday, Nov. 19. Considered Slovenia’s greatest living poet, Šalamun was born in Zagreb in 1941 and lives in Ljubljana, Slovenia. He is one of the foremost figures of the Eastern European avant-garde in poetry. He is revered by many American poets for his unique surrealistic style. His books have been translated into 21 languages, and nine of his 37 books of poetry have been published in English. His first collection, “Poker,” was published when he was only 25. His most recent collections are “There’s the Hand and There’s the Arid Chair,” “The Blue Tower,” “The Book for My Brother;” “Row, Woods and Chalices” and “On the Tracks of Wild Game (2012).”

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