PLYMOUTH — Connecticut poet Sophie Cabot Black will open the 2013-14 Eagle Pond Authors' Series at 7 p.m. Thursday, September 19 in Smith Recital Hall at Plymouth State University's Silver Center for the Arts.
Black writes lyrical poems that place her among our most spiritually meaningful poets. Her poems are both revelatory and elusive, exploring a landscape sharpened with grief and devotion. A Los Angeles Times book reviewer said, "Sophie Cabot Black ... is absolutely direct and absolutely removed—a strange confluence of tones that is both intellectually provocative and deeply moving."
Collections of Black's poetry include The Misunderstanding of Nature, which won the Poetry Society of America's Norma Farber First Book Award, The Descent, which won the Connecticut Book Award, and her newest collection, The Exchange.
The Wilton Bulletin (Conn.) columnist Chris Burns says the poetry in The Exchange draws heavily on Black's experience watching a friend fight a terrible and eventually fatal illness. "Though not explicitly narrative, the book follows a certain story," according to Burns' interview.
Black's father was a noted Broadway producer and her mother produced opera theater in Boston and New York. Black spent 10 years living in Manhattan, but she spent the majority of her time at the family farmhouse in Wilton. Burns says Black's experiences caring for animals and raising children on the farm helped shape her understanding of the cycles of life and death.
Black has been awarded the Grolier Poetry Prize, and fellowships from the MacDowell Colony, the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, and the Bunting Institute at Radcliffe. Her poetry has been anthologized in Best American Poetry and Never Before: Poems About First Experiences. Her essays have been included in Wanting a Child.
In Eagle Pond Series tradition, PSU senior business major Patrick O'Sullivan of Hudson will open the program reading some of his own works.
Now in its 16th year, the Eagle Pond Authors' Series is a tribute to Donald Hall, one of the nation's most beloved poets and authors. Hall remains the heart and soul of this series and is instrumental in bringing nationally and internationally revered poets to the PSU campus.
An author's reception and book signing with both Black and Hall will follow the reading.
Free tickets for the Eagle Pond Authors' Series are available at the Silver Center Box Office, (603) 535-2787 or (800) 779-3869, and are highly recommended. The series is presented with generous support from the Follett Higher Education Group (PSU Bookstore).