Colby-Sawyer Hosts Pulitzer Prize-winning Poet Jorie Graham

Colby-Sawyer College will host Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Jorie Graham on Thursday, April 14, for a reading and discussion of her work in the Archives Reading Room of the Cleveland Library. The event is free and open to the public.

Graham is the author of 13 collections of poetry, including Place, which won the Forward Prize in 2012, and The Dream of the Unified Field: Selected Poems 1974-1994, which won the 1996 Pulitzer Prize for Poetry. Considered by the Poetry Foundation to be “one of the most celebrated poets of the American post-war generation,” her many honors also include a John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Fellowship and the Morton Dauwn Zabel Award from the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters. In 2013, she received the prestigious Nonino Prize.

Graham has taught at the University of Iowa Writers’ Workshop, served as Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets from 1997 to 2003 and is currently the first woman to serve as Boylston Professor of Rhetoric and Oratory at Harvard University.

Graham earned a degree in film from New York University and an M.F.A. in poetry from the University of Iowa. Her interest in mythology and philosophy, which she studied at the Sorbonne in Paris, are evident in her poetry. Graham cites modernists such as William Butler Yeats, T.S. Eliot and Wallace Stevens as writers who have influenced her poetry’s unconventional forms.

The event is co-sponsored by the Cultural Events Committee and the Wesson Honors Program, and will be hosted by Associate Professor of Humanities Ewa Chrusciel. In 2012, Professor Chrusciel published a translation of Graham’s poetry.

“In her essay ‘Some Notes on Silence,’ Graham explains that her poems are events, enactments of experience and not just containers for understood experience,” said Professor Chrusciel. “In this way, they demand an arduous effort of ‘digging’ from readers. I hope Graham’s visit will push our students to delve deeper into poetry.”

For more information, contact Professor Chrusciel at