Poet Elizabeth Willis Joins Trias Series – Hobart and William Smith Colleges \
The HWS Update

Poet Elizabeth Willis Joins Trias Series

Elizabeth Willis, winner of the 1994 National Poetry Series and author of “Address” (2011) will give a reading of her work at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 27 in the Hirshson Ballroom. Her presentation is the first of several Trias Speaker’s Series events planned for the spring semester.

Willis is the author of five books of poetry, including “Address,” “Meteoric Flowers” (2006), “Turneresque” (2003), “The Human Abstract” (1995) and “Second Law” (1993). She has received numerous prestigious awards and honors for her writing, such as the 2012 Guggenheim Fellowship award, a Walter N. Thayer Fellowship for the Arts, a grant from the California Arts Council, a fellowship from the Howard Foundation and a residency at the MacDowell Colony.

Susan Howe, an acclaimed American poet and scholar, wrote that “Elizabeth Willis is an exceptional poet, one of the most outstanding of her generation.”

As an established literary critic, Willis also is the editor of “Radical Vernacular: Lorine Niedecker and the Politics of Place” (2008), a collection of scholarly essays on the life and works of Niedecker, a New York objectivist poet. Willis has devoted much of her career to researching Niedecker as well as other 20th century American poets. Currently, she serves as the Shapiro-Silverberg Professor of Creative Writing at Wesleyan University.

Willis’s writing has also appeared in publications like Textual Practice, Contemporary Literature and XCP: Cross-cultural Poetics.

Willis’s visit to HWS is thanks to the Trias Residency for Writers, which is supported by The Peter Trias Endowed Fund for Poetry and Creative Writing. This 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.”

This year’s Trias Writer-in-Residence is noted poet Piotr Sommer. Sommer is participating in a one-year residency on campus, working with the Colleges’ best student writers and offering public readings and lectures.

For more information about The Trias Residency for Writers, visit the website at www.hws.edu/trias or contact David Weiss, director of the Trias Residency for Writers, at trias@hws.edu.

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