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Poetry readings become popular


Becoming writer in residence at Smith College
Richard Wilbur Poet
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I had a long association with Smith, of course, having gone to Amherst, having married a Smith girl, and having known a good many members of its admirable faculty, people like Daniel Aaron, whom I had known from way back. I felt right at home there, as soon as they took me in and called me, I think, poet in residence or writer in residence, a title which was very dignifying and which also implied that I wasn't carrying a full load of courses. So I did enjoy it there, and of course I especially enjoyed it for selfish reasons of convenience. By the time I moved to Smith College to stay there for 10 years, we had moved house and were living in Cummington, Mass, a half hour's drive from Smith, and it had been a little harder to commute way down to Central Connecticut and teach at Wesleyan.

Acclaimed US poet Richard Wilbur (1921-2017) published many books and was twice awarded the Pulitzer Prize. He was less well known for creating a musical version of Voltaire's “Candide” with Bernstein and Hellman which is still produced throughout the world today.

Listeners: David Sofield

David Sofield is the Samuel Williston Professor of English at Amherst College, where he has taught the reading and writing of poetry since 1965. He is the co-editor and a contributor to Under Criticism (1998) and the author of a book of poems, Light Disguise (2003).

Tags: Amherst, Cummington Mass, Wesleyan University, Connecticut, Daniel Aaron

Duration: 1 minute, 20 seconds

Date story recorded: April 2005

Date story went live: 24 January 2008