This fall, Hobart and William Smith Colleges welcome the 2018-19 Trias Writer-in-Residence, acclaimed professor, poet, award-winning translator and essayist Donald Revell. The author or translator of more than 20 books, Revell most recently wrote The English Boat and Drought-Adapted Vine. He will lead an advanced writing workshop and serve as a guide and mentor to the Colleges’ most dedicated and driven writers. In the spring, he will lead a long-distance tutorial, working extensively and individually with a select number of HWS students.
“In a day and age when language is becoming hollow and meaningless, Revell gives words back their resonances, their capacities to move. When I read his poems, they have a gravity to them, like everything snaps into place all of a sudden, if only for a second,” says Trias Director and Associate Professor of English and Comparative Literature Kathryn Cowles, who recently published an essay about Revell’s work in the international literary journal Interim.
Revell participated in the Trias Series as a weeklong residency in 2015, after which “multiple students described their interactions with him as life-changing,” Cowles says. “The wonderful and vivid experiences students had with Don [then]…definitely contributed to the decision to have him out as a yearlong visitor.”
Also an essayist and editor, Revell is a professor of English at the University of Nevada Las Vegas and a faculty affiliate of the Black Mountain Institute. He is the winner of the PEN USA Translation Award and two-time winner of the PEN USA Award for Poetry. He is the recipient of the Academy of American Poets’ Lenore Marshall Prize and fellowships from the Ingram Merrill Foundation, the Guggenheim Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts (twice).
Revell kicks off the 2018-19 Trias Reading Series on Thursday, Sept. 6 at 7:30 p.m. in the Hirshson Ballroom. As Writer-in-Residence, Revell will curate this year’s series, which will feature poet, editor and novelist Kazim Ali and poet Bin Ramke.
Ali, who will read from his work on Thursday, Oct. 4, is the author of the award-winning poetry collections Sky Ward and The Far Mosque, and novels, Quinn’s Passage and The Disappearance of Seth. His newest book of poems, Inquisition, was published earlier in 2018. Ali received his B.A. and M.A. from the University of Albany-SUNY, and his M.F.A. from New York University. He is an associate professor of creative writing and comparative literature at Oberlin College.
Ramke joins the series on Thursday, Nov. 1. His first book, The Difference Between Night and Day, won the Yale Younger Poets Award in 1978. Ramke has since published 12 books of poems, including Wake and Massacre of Innocents, which both won the Iowa Poetry Prize, and 2018’s Light Wind Light Light. His work has recently appeared online in Conjunctions, at the Poetry Foundation, the Academy of American Poets, Tarpaulin Sky and Diode. Ramke holds the Phipps Chair in Literature and is a distinguished professor of literature and creative writing at the University of Denver, where he also serves as editor of the Denver Quarterly.
The Trias Residency for Writers is supported by The Peter Trias Endowed Fund for Poetry and Creative Writing, established through a generous bequest from Peter J. Trias ’70. After graduating from Hobart with a bachelor’s degree in English, Trias earned his MFA in poetry from the Iowa Writers Workshop and later published a collection of poems, The House in Venice. In endowing the program, he hoped to attract poets and writers of distinction to Hobart and William Smith to add distinguished voices to the creative chorus on campus.
The Trias Reading Series is co-sponsored by the Office of the Provost and the departments of Africana Studies, Spanish and Hispanic Studies, and English.