Institutional News

Spring 2023 Poetry at Bennington Series Announced

Poetry at Bennington, an endowed program of short-term residencies that brings established and emerging poets to Bennington College for public readings and close work with students, has announced its Spring 2023 lineup of featured poets.

All Poetry at Bennington readings begin at 7:00 pm and are free, open to the public, and will take place in Tishman Lecture Hall on the College’s campus.

“It’s so exciting for us to be able to continue to bring some of the most distinctive, artful, and moving poets in America to the Bennington College campus every year,” said Poetry Faculty and Poetry at Bennington Director Michael Dumanis. “All four poets coming to Vermont this April and May are utterly original I find their work bold and breathtaking, both in its use of language and its approach to subject matter.”

On Wednesday, April 5, Paul Tran will read from All the Flowers Kneeling (Penguin, 2022), their debut poetry collection. The work investigates intergenerational trauma, sexual violence, and U.S. imperialism in order to radically alter our understanding of freedom, power, and control. The recipient of a Discovery/Boston Review Poetry Prize, a Ruth Lilly Fellowship from The Poetry Foundation, a Stegner Fellowship from Stanford, and a National Endowment for the Arts fellowship, Tran is an Assistant Professor of English and Asian American Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

On Wednesday, April 19, Prageeta Sharma will read selections from Grief Sequence (Wave, 2019), a narrative reflection on grief over the loss of a loved one. She is the author of five poetry collections, a recipient of the 2010 Howard Foundation Award, and a finalist for the Poetry Society of America’s 2020 Four Quartets Prize. Sharma has taught at the New School for Social Research, Goddard College, the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, and the University of Montana, and is now the Henry G. Lee professor of English at Pomona College.

On Wednesday, May 3, Jennifer Chang, winner of the Poetry Society of America’s 2018 William Carlos Williams Award, will read. She serves as the poetry editor of New England Review and, since 2003, has been on the staff of Kundiman, a national nonprofit organization dedicated to nurturing generations of writers and readers of Asian American literature. Chang is a professor in the Michener Center for Writers at the University of Texas at Austin and serves on the faculty of Bennington College’s low-residency MFA program.

On Wednesday, May 10, Roger Reeves, author of Best Barbarian (W.W. Norton & Co., 2022), a finalist for the National Book Award, will read. Reeves is the recipient of a Ruth Lilly Fellowship from the Poetry Foundation, a National Endowment for the Arts fellowship, a Hodder Fellowship from Princeton, a Radcliffe Institute Fellowship from Harvard, and a Whiting Writers’ Award. He is a fellow at the Harvard Radcliffe Institute and an associate professor of English and creative writing in the Michener Center for Writers at the University of Texas at Austin.

About the Spring 2023 Featured Poets

Paul Tran’s work appears in the New York Times, the New Yorker, Best American Poetry, and elsewhere. They earned their bachelor’s degree in History from Brown University and MFA in Poetry from Washington University in St. Louis. They are the winner of the Discovery/Boston Review Poetry Prize, as well as fellowships from the Poetry Foundation, Stanford University, and the National Endowment for the Arts.

Poet Prageeta Sharma was born in Framingham, Massachusetts. Her parents emigrated from India in 1969, and Sharma was raised a Hindu. Sharma attended Simon’s Rock College of Bard as an undergraduate and earned her MFA from Brown University and an MA in media studies from The New School. In addition to her most recent collection, noted above, her collections of poetry include Bliss to Fill (2000); The Opening Question (2004), which won the Fence Modern Poets Prize; Infamous Landscapes (2007); and Undergloom (2013).  She is the founder and president of the conference Thinking Its Presence: Race, Creative Writing, and Literary Studies.

Poet and scholar Jennifer Chang was born in New Jersey. She earned her MFA and PhD from the University of Virginia and teaches at George Washington University. She is the author of two books of poetry, Some Say the Lark (Alice James, 2017) and The History of Anonymity (University of Georgia Press, 2008). Chang’s debut poetry collection was selected for the Virginia Quarterly Review’s Poetry Series and was a finalist for the Shenandoah/ Glasgow Prize for Emerging Writers. 

Roger Reeves’s debut collection is King Me (Copper Canyon Press, 2013) is a Library Journal  Best Poetry Book of the year and winner of Virginia Commonwealth University’s Larry Levis Reading Prize, the PEN/Oakland Josephine Miles Literary Award, and a John C. Zacharis First Book Award. His poems have appeared in journals such as Poetry, Ploughshares, American Poetry Review, Boston Review, and Tin House, among others. He earned a bachelor’s in English from Morehouse College, a master of arts in English from Texas A & M University, an MFA from the James A. Michener Center for Creative Writing at the University of Texas at Austin, and a Ph.D. from the University of Texas at Austin. His next book is Dark Days: Fugitive Essays, to be published by Graywolf in August 2023. 


About Poetry at Bennington
Since its establishment in 2012, Poetry at Bennington has brought more than 50 poets to campus, including Poets Laureate and Pulitzer Prize winners, along with a diverse range of emerging and established poets. During the short-term residencies, the poets give public readings and engage directly with students through question-and-answer sessions, craft lectures, master classes, group writing exercises, and individual consultations. The events are free and regularly attract students from neighboring colleges, as well as poetry enthusiasts across southern Vermont and western Massachusetts. 

Past visiting poets include Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award Winners Timothy Donnelly, Ross Gay, Matthea Harvey, Dawn Lundy Martin, and Ariana Reines; Poets Laureate Joy Harjo, Charles Simic, Mark Strand, and Natasha Trethewey; MacArthur “Genius” Grant Award Winners Claudia Rankine and C.D. Wright; National Book Award Winners Daniel Borzutzky, Robin Coste Lewis, Mark Doty, and Terrance Hayes; and Pulitzer Prize Winners Rae Armantrout, Jericho Brown, and Jorie Graham.