Listen to Four Poet-Scholars This Poetry Month

Courtesy of Princeton University, The Lewis Center for the Arts, and the Department of English.

April is National Poetry Month. To celebrate the importance of poetry at Princeton and beyond, poet-scholars in the Department of English and the Lewis Center for the Arts recited one of their own poems or a passage from one of their favorites and explained what the poem meant to them.


Professor of English Jeff Dolven reads “Bicycle Stanzas,” one of his most recent poems, and discusses some of its themes.

Paul Muldoon, the Howard G.B. Clark ’21 University Professor in the Humanities and professor of creative writing in the Lewis Center for the Arts, reads “Ireland,” a poem he wrote nearly 40 years ago while living in Northern Ireland.

Esther Schor, the Leonard L. Milberg ’53 Professor of American Jewish Studies and professor of English, reads the Walt Whitman poem “A Clear Midnight” and shares its effect on her.


Tracy K. Smith, the Roger S. Berlind ’52 Professor in the Humanities, professor of creative writing in the Lewis Center for the Arts, and the 2017-19 U.S. poet laureate, reads “Second Estrangement,” by Aracelis Girmay, and highlights a few of her favorite elements.

A New Addition!

Find new books, anthologies, journals, chapbooks, and more at the new Bain-Swiggett Poetry Collection when you visit the Department of English. Here’s a sneak peek at the shelves-in-progress:

Lewis Center Names Solmaz Sharif Recipient of Holmes National Poetry Prize

Congratulations to poet Solmaz Sharif, this year’s recipient of the Holmes National Poetry Prize from Princeton’s Lewis Center for the Arts!

The Holmes National Poetry Prize was established in memory of Princeton 1951 alumnus Theodore H. Holmes and is presented each year to a poet of special merit as nominated and selected by the faculty of the Creative Writing Program, which includes writers Jeffrey Eugenides, Jhumpa Lahiri, Yiyun Li, Paul Muldoon, Kirstin Valdez Quade, James Richardson, Tracy K. Smith, and Susan Wheeler. The award currently carries a prize of $5,000, and was first made to Mark Doty in 2011 and has since also been awarded to Evie Shockley, Natalie Diaz Matt Rasmussen, and Eduardo Corral.

Born in Istanbul to Iranian parents, Sharif holds degrees from University of California, Berkeley, where she studied and taught with June Jordan’s Poetry for the People, and New York University. Her work has appeared in The New Republic, Poetry, The Kenyon Review, jubilat, Gulf Coast, Boston Review, Witness, and others. The former managing director of the Asian American Writers’ Workshop, her work has been recognized with a “Discovery”/Boston Review Poetry Prize, scholarships from the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, a winter fellowship at the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, a National Endowment for the Arts fellowship, and a Stegner Fellowship. She received a 2014 Rona Jaffe Foundation Writer’s Award, as well as a Ruth Lilly and Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Fellowship. Sharif is currently a lecturer at Stanford University. Her first poetry collection, Look, published by Graywolf Press in 2016, was a finalist for the National Book Award.

BreakBeat Poetry at Princeton

The editors and authors of The BreakBeat Poets: New American Poetry in the Age of Hip-Hop recently made history with the first poetry anthology by and for the Hip-Hop generation, celebrating a break with the past and an honoring of the tradition(s) and creating an undeniable body, expanding the canon for the fresher.

On Friday, Sept. 23, Morgan Parker, Nate Marshall, Kevin Coval, & Angel Nafis will be on campus to lead an exploratory and interactive workshop, followed by a discussion. The events will take place from 6-8pm at Carl A. Fields Center 105, and 8-9pm at Carl A. Fields Center 104 respectively.

Learn more about the project at


Monica Youn’s Blackacre Longlisted for National Book Award

This week, Monica Youn’s Blackacre (Graywolf) was longlisted for a National Book Award. It is Youn’s third collection of poetry and follows the National Book Award finalist Ignatz. Known for her sparse yet powerful selection of individual words, Youn merges her legal acumen with the lyrical force in Blackacre–which takes its title from the legal term “blackacre,” first coined in 1628, as a nominal placeholder for hypothetical estates.

From Poetry@Princeton, congratulations.




Save the Date: 4/12 Maggie Nelson Reading & Conversation

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Maggie Nelson is an American poet, art critic, lyric essayist and nonfiction author of books such as Bluets, The Argonauts, winner of the 2015 National Book Critics Circle Award in Criticism, The Red Parts: A Memoir, The Art of Cruelty, and Jane: A Murder. The Art of Cruelty was a 2011 Notable Book of the Year by the New York Times and recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship in Nonfiction. Jane: A Murder was a finalist for the PEN/Martha Albrand Award for the Art of the Memoir. Nelson has taught at the Graduate Writing Program of the New School, Wesleyan University, and the School of Art and Design at Pratt Institute; she currently teaches in the CalArts MFA writing program. She was awarded an Arts Writers grant in 2007 from the Creative Capital/Andy Warhol Foundation. In 2011, she was awarded a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship for Poetry.

Recipient of a 2010 John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship for Nonfiction.

Prof. Gayle Salamon will join Maggie for the Q&A portion of the event.

Nassau Literary Review: Open for Spring Issue Submissions!


ThNassau Literary Review — Princeton’s oldest publication and the second-oldest undergraduate literary magazine in the country — is now open to submissions for their Spring 2016 issue!  Poetry submissions, as well as short stories, novel excerpts, screenplays, art, and photography, are all welcomed.

The deadline for submissions is 11:59 PM on February 27th.

To read past issues, click here. For more information on submissions, visit their website here.

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