Wordsmiths Reading Series
Friday, March 11 at 7:30PM
Hosted at The Orangery and on zoom
Christopher Salerno is the author of five books of poetry. His most recent book, The Man Grave, won the Lexi Rudnitskv Award from Persea Books. Previous books include Sun & Urn (UGA Poetry Prize), ATM (Georgetown Poetry Prize), Minimum Heroic (Mississippi Review Poetry Prize), and Whirligig. His trade book, How to Write Poetry: A Guided Journal, is avallable trom Calisto Media. His work has received the Glenna Luschei Award from Prairie Schooner, The Founders Prize from RHINO Magazine, the Two Sylvias Press Chapbook Award, the Laurel Review Chapbook Prize, and a New Jersey State Council on the Arts fellowship. His poems have appeared in New York Times Magazine, New Republic, American Poetry Review, New England Review, and elsewhere. He teaches in the B.A. and M.F.A. programs In Creative Writing at William Paterson University in New Jersey where he serves as Director of Writing Across the Curriculum
Jane Edna Mohler
Jane Edna Mohler was the 2020 Bucks County Pennsylvania Poet Laureate. She won the 2016 Main Street Voices Poetry Prize and is a two-time Pushcart nominee. Kelsay Books published her collection Broken Umbrellas in 2019. Recent publications include Gargoyle, the American Journal of Poetry, and the Bay to Ocean Anthology. Jane is Poetry Co-Editor for the Schuylkill Valley Journal.
Friday, April 29 at 7:30PM
Hosted at The Zlock Auditorium and on zoom
Jane Hirshfield's poetry books include Ledger (2020), The Beauty, long-listed for the 2015 National Book Award; Given Sugar, Given Salt, a finalist for the 2001 National Book Critics Circle Award; and After, short-listed for England's T.S. Eliot Award and named a "best book of 2006" by The Washington Post, The San Francisco Chronicle, and England's Financial Times. Her two collections of essays, Nine Gates: Entering the Mind of Poetry (1997) and Ten Windows: How Great Poems Transform the World (2015), have become classics in their field, as have her tour books collecting and co-translating the work of world poets from the past: The Ink Dark Moon: Love Poems by Komachi & Shikibu, Women of the Ancient Japanese Court; Women in Praise of the Sacred: 43 Centuries of Spiritual Poetry by Women; Mirabai: Ecstatic Poems; and The Heart of Haiku, on Matsuo Basho, named an Amazon Best Book of 2011.
Luray Gross grew up on a Pennsylvania dairy farm in a household full of music and books. She is the author of four collections of poetry, most recently Lift, published by Ragged Sky Press. A Dodge poet and faculty member of Murphy Writing of Stockton University, she was awarded a Fellowship in Poetry by the New Jersey State Council on the Arts and named one of their Distinguished Teaching Artists. She was the 2002 Poet Laureate of Bucks County (PA) and resident faculty at the Frost Place Festival and Conference on Poetry. A storyteller as well as a poet, she has worked with thousands of students of all ages over several decades. All events are free and open to the public and will be held live and broadcast
Since the 1960s, Bucks County Community College’s Wordsmiths Reading Series has featured some of the most distinguished and admired poets of our times. The list of poets from the 1960s includes Allen Ginsberg (with cushion and guitars), Galway Kinnell, William Stafford, Richard Hugo, Kenneth Koch, Nikki Giovanni, Carolyn Forché, Derek Walcott, Lucille Clifton, Denise Levertov, David Ignatow, Joseph Brodsky, Philip Levine, James Tate, Wendell Berry, Donald Hall, Jane Kenyon, Robert Bly, John Logan, Carol Muske-Dukes, Tess Gallagher, Maxine Kumin, and James Dickey. The 1970s featured, among others, Etheridge Knight, Gary Snyder, John Logan, Carolyn Kizer, Robert Creeley, Alan Dugan, Judith Sherwin, Adrienne Rich, and W. D. Snodgrass. In recent years, the series has continued to highlight contemporary literary luminaries such as Sharon Olds, Robert Pinsky, Martín Espada, Bob Holman, Mark Doty, Gerald Stern, James Richardson, Evie Shockley, Anne Marie Macari, Dean Rader, Charles Simic, Jericho Brown, Richard Blanco, Li-Young Lee, Chase Twichell, and Brenda Hillman. Additionally, in recent years, the series has featured some of the most notable fiction writers of our time, including Andre Dubus and Ben Marcus. The awards bestowed on our featured writers are too numerous to name, and include the Pulitzer Prize, the National Book award, and the PEN Literary Award.
As the founder and leader of the renowned Wordsmiths series, Bucks County Community College has distinguished itself among Philadelphia-area colleges and universities, and has become the home of a vibrant community of writers, poetry lovers, and supporters of the arts. Wordsmiths readings are always widely attended. Guest writers are often paired with inspiring local ones, and the audience is typically made up of a lively mix of students, faculty, and the community at-large. The series gives students the opportunity to connect what they learn in the classroom with the wider world by attending high caliber free readings on their own campus. Simply put, the series places Bucks County Community College at the center of the region’s literary life.