Arts at the Lewis center PA
Princeton Arts Bannerlightbox

Mary Ruefle and Jane Smiley
Wednesday, April 11, 2012 at 4:30 PM
McCosh Hall 50


Steve Runk    
Director of Communications
Lewis Center for the Arts

(Princeton, NJ) Poet Mary Ruefle and novelist Jane Smiley will read from their works in McCosh Hall 50 on the Princeton campus on Wednesday, April 11 at 4:30 p.m.  Cara Liuzzi, a senior thesis student, will also read from her poetry.  The reading, part of the Program in Creative Writing’s Althea Ward Clark W’21 Reading Series at the Lewis Center for the Arts, is free and open to the public.

Mary RuefleMary Ruefle is currently a professor in the Masters in Fine Arts program at Vermont College of Fine Arts and is a visiting professor at the University of Iowa Writers’ Workshop. She has received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Guggenheim Foundation, as well as a Whiting Writer’s Award and an Award in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters.

Ruefle has published many books of poetry, including her Selected Poems (2010), which won the William Carlos Williams Award; A Little White Shadow (2006), a book showing her work as an erasure artist with treatments of nineteenth century texts that has been exhibited in museums and galleries; Tristimania (2003); Among the Musk Ox People (2002); Apparition Hill (2001); Post Meridian (2000), Cold Pluto (1996); The Adamant (1989), winner of the 1988 Iowa Poetry Prize; Life Without Speaking (1987); and Memling’s Veil (1982). She is also the author of a book of prose, The Most of It (2008), and a comic book, Go Home and Go to Bed (2007).  A collection of Ruefle’s lectures at Vermont College of Fine Arts will be published by Wave Books in the fall of 2012.

Fellow poet Tony Hoagland has noted, “Her work combines the spiritual desperation of Dickinson with the rhetorical virtuosity of Wallace Stevens. The result (for those with ears to hear) is a poetry at once ornate and intense; linguistically marvelous, yes, but also as visceral as anything you are likely to encounter.”

Ruefle’s work has been anthologized in Best American Poetry, Great American Prose Poems (2003), American Alphabets: 25 Contemporary Poets (2006), and The Next American Essay (2002).

James Richardson, poet and a Professor of English and Creative Writing at Princeton, will introduce Ruefle.

Jane SmileyJane Smiley is a Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist and essayist. Her numerous novels include The Age of Grief (1987); The Greenlanders (1988); Ordinary Love and Good Will (1989), A Thousand Acres (1991), which won the Pulitzer Prize in 1992; Moo (1995); Horse Heaven (2000); Good Faith (2003); Ten Days in the Hills (2007); and the young adult novel, The Georges and the Jewels (2009).  She has also published many essays for such magazines as Vogue, The New Yorker, Practical Horseman, Harper’s, The New York Times Magazine, Allure, The Nation, and others.  Diverse subjects she has written on include politics, farming, horse training, child-rearing, literature, impulse buying, getting dressed, Barbie, and marriage.  

Smiley is also the author of the non-fiction books A Year at the Races (2004), Thirteen Ways of Looking at the Novel (2005) and, from Penguin Live Series, a biography of Charles Dickens. A member of both the American Academy of Arts and Letters and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, she received the 2006 PEN USA Lifetime Achievement Award for Literature.

Of Smiley’s most recent novel, Private Life, The Washington Post wrote, “In the course of this brilliantly imagined, carefully chiseled story, Smiley introduces a rich cast of characters, a virtual rush of Californian diversity…. Smiley’s virtuosity should be no surprise to us….”

Chang-rae Lee, novelist and Professor of Creative Writing in the Lewis Center for the Arts, will introduce Smiley.

Cara Liuzzi, a senior in the Program in Creative writing and a thesis student of James Richardson, will be reading selections from her poetry.

The Lewis Center’s Program in Creative Writing is sponsoring this event as part of the ongoing Althea Ward Clark W’21 reading series, which provides an opportunity for students, as well as all in the greater Princeton region to hear and meet the best writers of contemporary poetry and fiction. All readings are free and open to the public and take place on select Wednesdays at 4:30 p.m. in venues on the University campus. Other upcoming readings include:

  • Creative Writing Program student reading from work done in spring workshops on May 2 at 5:15 p.m. in the Chancellor Green Rotunda
  • Creative Writing Program certificate seniors will read from their work on May 8 at the Nassau Club (poetry) and on May 9 at the Palmer House (fiction)

Photos Link:
Photo Caption:  Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist Jane Smiley
Photo Credit:   Photo by Mark Bennington
Photo Caption:  Award-winning poet Mary Ruefle
Photo Credit: Photo courtesy of Mary Ruefle


The Lewis Center for the Arts is part of a major initiative announced by President Shirley M. Tilghman in 2006 to fully embrace the arts as an essential part of the educational experience for all who study and teach at Princeton University. The Lewis Center for the Arts will have a significant impact on the University and the larger community it serves. The public is welcomed to a full range of lectures, exhibitions, concerts and performances at the Center. Many of the Center’s events are free or charge a nominal admission fee.

princeton university

News Feed | Events Feed | Contact Us | Credits
© 2014 The Trustees of Princeton University