Poet Jill McDonough to Read at Smith College
NORTHAMPTON, Mass.— Smith College will present a reading by poet Jill McDonough at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 12, in Stoddard Hall Auditorium. The event is free and open to the public.
Proclaimed a “gifted and courageous poet” by Irish poet Eavan Boland, McDonough is a brilliant and lively presence on the poetry scene. Her 2008 book, “Habeas Corpus,” offers a sequence of 50 sonnets, each one about a person executed in the United States between 1605 and 2005. She brilliantly illuminates what is known, while leaving room for all that is unknowable about these stories and characters, building what Boland calls “a powerful, relentless music,” the true subject of which “is not death but human survival—in memory, language and suffering.”
In 2012, a mere four years later, McDonough released both the chapbook “Oh, James,” a series of poems based on the James Bond films, and the full-length collection, “Where You Live.” Of “Where You Live,” poet Major Jackson writes that “beneath the poker-faced humor and cosmopolitan wit ... is a profligate mind, urgently intoning her inexhaustible humanity and our not-too-perfect existence.”
Born in Hartford, Conn., McDonough has lived in Boston, San Francisco, New York, North Carolina and Maine as well as Japan. For 13 years, she taught incarcerated college students through Boston University’s Prison Education Program. Currently, she teaches poetry at UMass-Boston and directs 24PearlStreet, the online writing program at the Fine Arts Work Center.
The reading will be followed by a book sale and signing. For further information, contact the Poetry Center at (413) 585-4891.
For disability access information or to request accommodations, call (413) 585-2407. To request a sign language interpreter specifically, call (413) 585-2071 (voice or TTY) or e-mail ODS@smith.edu. Requests must be made at least 10 days prior to the event. A limited number of assistive listening devices are available. To reserve one, email Jennifer Blackburn at firstname.lastname@example.org at least one day prior to the reading.