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Readings to Go: Grace Paley

Poet and political activist reads from her collection

In the video above, Grace Paley reads from her short fiction and poetry. Paley gave the Robert Lowell Memorial Lecture: Celebrating the Legacy of Room 222 in April 2007. In the 1950s, visiting lecturer Robert Lowell taught poets Sylvia Plath, Anne Sexton, and George Starbuck, among others, in Room 222 at 236 Bay State Rd. Paley is introduced by Robert Pinsky, a College of Arts and Sciences professor of English and three-time U.S. poet laureate.

Paley is known for her short fiction, her poems, and her political activism. She is the author of three books of short fiction: The Little Disturbances of Man, Enormous Changes at the Last Minute, and Later the Same Day. A compilation of her previously published work, The Collected Stories, was reprinted this spring. She has published three books of poetry, Leaning Forward, New and Collected Poems, and Begin Again: Collected Poems, and a book of short stories and poetry, Long Walks and Intimate Talk.

She has received the Edith Wharton Award, the Rea Award for the Short Story, the Vermont Governor’s Award for Excellence in the Arts, and the Jewish Cultural Achievement Award for Literary Arts. She is a member of the National Academy of Arts and Letters and was named New York state’s first official writer.

The semiannual Robert Lowell Memorial Lecture Series was established in 2005 to bring distinguished writers to campus to read their works alongside a member of the Creative Writing Program faculty and a recent graduate of the program. The lecture series is funded by Nancy Livingston (COM’69) and her husband, Fred Levin, through the Shenson Foundation, in memory of Ben and A. Jess Shenson.