Poetry Reading Series

Co-sponsored by the Center for Interdisciplinary Teaching & Learning, College of General Studies, and the BU Center for the Humanities (BUCH), the Poetry Reading Series strives to make poetry a fundamental part of university and community life. By presenting the work of both renowned and emerging poets, the series attempts to broaden our vision of poetry’s concerns and effects. In the past, the series has featured readings by Jorie Graham, Thomas Sayers Ellis, Geoffrey Hill, Vona Groarke, Gjertrud Schnackenberg, Marilyn Hacker, David Ferry, and Linda Gregg, among others.

All readings are free and open to the public. Details on upcoming poetry reading series events will be added to this page and to the CGS calendar. Please direct any questions to Meg Tyler, mtyler@bu.edu, 617-358-4199.

Upcoming Events

Poetry Reading with Kwame Dawes and Jennifer Barber
September 28, 2023, 6 pm | Katzenberg Center, College of General Studies

Born in Ghana in 1962, Kwame Dawes spent most of his childhood and early adult life in Jamaica. He has authored 36 books of poetry, fiction, criticism, and essays, including, most recently, Nebraska (UNP, 2019), Bivouac (Akashic Books, 2019), and City of Bones: A Testament (Northwestern, 2017). Speak from Here to There (Peepal Tree Press), co-written with Australian poet John Kinsella, appeared in 2016. He is Glenna Luschei Editor of Prairie Schooner and Chancellor’s Professor of English at the University of Nebraska. He is also a faculty member in the Pacific MFA Program. He is Director of the African Poetry Book Fund and Artistic Director of the Calabash International Literary Festival. Dawes is a Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets. As a poet, he is profoundly influenced by the rhythms and textures of Ghana, citing in an interview his “spiritual, intellectual, and emotional engagement with reggae music.”

Jennifer Barber’s most recent poetry collection is The Sliding Boat Our Bodies Made (Word Works, 2022). Her previous books are Works on Paper, winner of the 2015 Tenth Gate Prize (Word Works, 2016), Given Away (Kore Press, 2012), and Rigging the Wind (Kore Press, 2003). She is co-editor, with Fred Marchant and Jessica Greenbaum, of the anthology Tree Lines: 21st Century American Poems (Grayson Books, 2022). In 1992 she founded the  journal Salamander and served as its editor through 2018. She is the current poet laureate of Brookline; her poems have appeared widely in journals and magazines, including Poetry, the Paris Review, the New Yorker, the Harvard Divinity Bulletin, and Orion.