Reading and discussion with Amy Dryansky, Annie Boutelle and Ellen Doré Watson
Hosted by Tupelo Press
MCLA Gallery 51, 51 Main Street, North Adams, 2 p.m.
Sometimes the voices we write have a distinct persona, and sometimes it seems as if the poet herself is speaking. Between these two poles is a continuum in which the poet’s experience, identity, intention and imagination are at play. How do we know who’s really doing the talking? Join in a lively reading and discussion with three distinguished poet-presenters who will read from their work and talk about how they invent speakers who may–or may not–share characteristics with their authors. Each of the poets has experimented with writing a range of speakers, creating poems (and entire poetry collections) written in the voice of historical figures, contemporary characters drawn from the headlines, and personae that are less easy to pin down, but somehow feel familiar.
Annie Boutelle was born and raised in Scotland. She is the author of three poetry collections: This Caravaggio (Hedgerow Press), Becoming Bone: Poems on the life of Celia Thaxter (University of Arkansas Press), and Nest of Thistles (University Press of New England, Morse Poetry Prize). She has taught at Purnell School, Suffolk University, Mount Holyoke College, and for the last 28 years at Smith College, where she founded The Poetry Center and most recently served as the Grace Hazard Conkling Poet in Residence.
Ellen Doré Watson’s most recent volume of poems is Dogged Hearts (Tupelo Press, 2010). Her journal appearances include The American Poetry Review, Tin House, Orion, and The New Yorker. Among her honors are a Rona Jaffe Writers Award, fellowships to the MacDowell Colony and to Yaddo, and an NEA Translation Fellowship. She has translated a dozen books from the Brazilian Portuguese, including the work of poet Adélia Prado, most recently Ex-Voto. Watson serves as poetry editor of The Massachusetts Review, director of the Poetry Center at Smith College, and teaches in the Drew University Low-Residency MFA program in poetry and translation.
Amy Dryansky is the author of Grass Whistle (Salmon Poetry) and How I Got Lost So Close To Home (Alice James). Individual poems have appeared in a variety of anthologies and journals, including Orion, The New England Review and Harvard Review. Dryansky has received awards from the Massachusetts Cultural Council, MacDowell Colony, Vermont Studio Center and the Bread Loaf Writers Conference. She is a former Associate at the Five College Women’s Studies Research Center at Mt. Holyoke College, where she studied the impact of motherhood on the work of women poets.