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Poets Eamon Grennan, Molly McGlennen, Nancy Willard, and special guest Evan Pritchard, among others, present readings in honor of the exhibition “Poetry of the Hudson” on October 15, 2009.

POUGHKEEPSIE, NY-Poets and Vassar professors Eamon Grennan, Molly McGlennen, Nancy Willard, and special guest Evan Pritchard of the Native American Micmac people, along with student poets Carolyn Bergonzo and Ade Raphael, will read poems in a program entitled "Poetry of the Hudson, A Celebration," on Thursday, October 15. The poetry reading, held in conjunction with the exhibition, Poetry of the Hudson at the Vassar College Libraries, and the state-wide Hudson-Fulton-Champlain Quadricentennial celebration, will begin at 5:30pm in the Libraries' Class of '51 Reading Room. The exhibition and reading are free and open to the public.

Associate Director of the Libraries for Special Collections Ron Patkus, who mounted the Poetry of the Hudson exhibition, said of the reading organized by Professor Paul Kane, "I'm really looking forward to it. Our poetry readings attract large numbers of people." The poetry reading will be free and open to the public.

Professor Emeritus of English Eamon Grennan's poems appear regularly in magazines on both sides of the Atlantic, including Poetry Ireland Review, Poetry London, The New Yorker, The Nation, Threepenny Review, and The New Republic.  The author of several collections of poetry, Grennan's Still Life with Waterfall (2002) was awarded the Lenore Marshall Award; So It Goes (1995) was a finalist for the Paterson Poetry Prize; What Light There Is and Other Poems (1989) was a finalist for a Los Angeles Times Book Prize; and his Leopardi: Selected Poems (Princeton University Press, 1997) won the PEN Award for Poetry in Translation. He is native of Dublin and an Irish citizen who has lived and worked in the United States for over 30 years.

Paul Kane, professor of English, has published 11 books and numerous essays, reviews and poems in various literary and scholarly periodicals, including Poetry Daily, Notre Dame Review, Jacket Magazine, Kenyon Review, The New Republic, The Paris Review, Raritan, Grand Street, Partisan Review, The New Criterion, The Sewanee Review, Literary Imagination, Poetry, Verse, Australian Book Review, Agenda, World Literature Today, and elsewhere.  His publications include four collections of poetry: The Farther Shore, Drowned Lands, Work Life and A Slant of Light; two editions with The Library of America, Ralph Waldo Emerson: Collected Poems and Translations (co-edited with Harold Bloom) and Ralph Waldo Emerson: Essays and Poems; two anthologies, Poetry of the American Renaissance and Vintage, a collection of contemporary Australian writing; a critical and scholarly study, Australian Poetry: Romanticism and Negativity; a collaboration with the photographer William Clift, A Hudson Landscape; and a Festschrift for the poet Les Murray, Letters to Les.  He has been poetry editor of Antipodes since 1987 and is involved with other journals and magazines as a board member, and, since 2002, has served as artistic director of the annual Mildura Writers Festival. A former Fulbright Scholar, Kane is also the recipient of fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, and grants from the Australia Council, the Bienecke Foundation, and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. 

Molly McGlennen, assistant professor of English, was the Andrew W. Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow in Native American Studies at Vassar College from 2006-08. Her research interests include Native American literature, contemporary poetry, Native American women and urban experiences, Native American critical theory and feminisms, and poetry writing.  Her poetry collection, Like Fried Fish and Flour Biscuits, is forthcoming from the Earthworks series, Salt Publishing.  Her poems have appeared in Sentence, Yellow Medicine Review, Studies in American Indian Literatures, Frontiers: A Journal of Women Studies, To Topos Poetry International: Ahani: Indigenous American Poetry, Shenandoah: The Washington & Lee University Review, Atlantis: A Women's Studies Journal, Santa Clara Review, and Genocide of the Mind: New Native American Writing. McGlennen is on the editorial board for Studies in American Indian Literatures. 

Evan Pritchard, a descendant of the Micmac people (part of the Algonquin nations), is the founder of the Center for Algonquin Culture and a professor of Native American history at Marist College, where he also teaches ethics and philosophy. He is the author of Native New Yorkers, The Legacy of the Algonquin People of New York; the widely praised No Word For Time, the Way of the Algonquin People; as well as many other books, including an Algonkian language series. Pritchard has given "Native New Yorker" walking tours of lower Manhattan for the Smithsonian Institute, The Open Center, South Street Seaport, and other institutions. Since 1990, his work has helped thousands of people gain a better understanding of this Algonquin civilization and its teachings.

Nancy Willard, a lecturer in the English Department, is an award-winning poet and author. She is the author of several of poetry, including Water Walker which was nominated for the National Book Critics Circle Award, as well as Swimming Lessons: New and Selected Poems and In the Salt Marsh. She has also written two novels (Things Invisible to See and Sister Water), and stories and essays (Telling Time: Angels, Ancestors, and Stories and The Left-Handed Story). Her collection for children, A Visit to William Blake's Inn, was the first poetry book ever to win the Newbery Medal. Her other books for children include Pish Posh, Said Hieronymus Bosch; Cinderella's Dress; and The Flying Bed. She has received grants from the NEA in both fiction and poetry.

Carolyn Bergonzo is a junior and English major at Vassar College, and Ade Raphael is a sophomore at Vassar. 

Poetry of the Hudson
, an exhibition of verse inspired by the Hudson River, is currently on view through December 24 at the Vassar College Libraries. A video exhibit is featured alongside the poetry showcases, and features Hudson River Valley-related images and audio of various Vassar College professors giving poetry readings. A preview of the exhibition is available on the Special Collections website: http://specialcollections.vassar.edu/exhibits/poetry-hudson/index.html.

Patkus said of the exhibit, "Our goal is to increase awareness of the Hudson River Valley tradition of writing poetry. Vassar has a long tradition of faculty and student poets, and a number of them have been inspired to write poems about the Hudson."

Included in the exhibition are local Native American writings, in honor of long-standing Native American ties to the Hudson. Washington Irving's story "Rip Van Winkle" also makes an appearance. While not a poem, Irving's famous story refers to the "lordly Hudson," a concept that inspired later poets writing about the River. The exhibit concludes with works by contemporary writers who currently live in the Hudson Valley, including students from the local area.

Volumes on display are drawn from Main Library, Archives and Special Collections Libraries, as well as institutions in the larger Hudson Valley area. Ranging from the decorated and bound 18th and 19th century volumes to the dust jackets and student publications from the 20th and 21st centuries, the exhibit visually demonstrates a long history of love for the Hudson.

An accompanying pamphlet about the exhibition is available at the Libraries. This includes a written analysis of the featured poems by Paul Kane, a Vassar College Professor of English, and an introduction by Ron Patkus, Associate Director of the Libraries for Special Collections.

The Vassar College Libraries are open to the general public daily, from 9:00am to 5:00pm, and the exhibition is located on the first floor.

The Frederick Ferris Thompson Memorial Library, open to the public daily from 9:00am to 5:00pm, was founded in 1893 after Vassar trustee Frederick Ferris Thompson expanded the Vassar College Library with an extension to Main hall. With the new Thompson building's completion in 1905 by Mary Clark Thompson as a memorial to her husband, Vassar College Library moved there. Mrs. Thompson's continuing generosity allowed the library to expand further in 1918, and in 1924 her bequest to the College became an endowment for its support.

The library collection today - which actually encompasses eight libraries at Vassar - contains over 1.6 million volumes and 7,500 serial, periodical and newspaper titles, as well as an extensive collection of microfilm and microfiche.

For more information, the public may call (845) 437-5760 or visit http://library.vassar.edu/.

The Catherine Pelton Durrell '25 Archives and Special Collections Library is open to the public by appointment only. It is the principal repository of Vassar College's noteworthy collections of rare books, manuscripts, archival records of Vassar College, and other special materials. Notable holdings include more than 400 books printed in Europe before 1500, including several pages from Johann Gutenberg's 42-line Bible, early editions of Shakespeare, rare European and American atlases from the 16th through 18th centuries, and publications linked to the history of Poughkeepsie and the Hudson River Valley.

The Archives and Special Collections Library also engages in teaching and outreach activities, including the Adopt-a-Book program to fund conservation treatment for fragile and damaged books and showcases for Vassar College students and the general public.

For more information, the public may call (845) 437-5799 or visit the Special Collections website: http://specialcollections.vassar.edu/. To view an archive of past exhibitions, see the website: http://specialcollections.vassar.edu/exhibit-highlights/index.html.

People with disabilities requiring accommodations should contact the Office of Campus Activities at (845) 437-5370. Directions to the Vassar Campus in the Town of Poughkeepsie are available online.

Vassar College is a highly selective, coeducational, independent, residential liberal arts college founded in 1861.

Posted by Office of Communications Monday, October 5, 2009