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Poetry Reading at UNH on Sept. 20 to Feature Two Acclaimed Poets

Release Date:
9/2/2011 12:00 AM

University of New Haven: Patricia Smith, Monica Ong, poetry Patricia Smith (left), Monica Ong

NEW HAVEN, CONN. --- A nationally recognized poet and an experimental poet/artist will have poetry readings at the University of New Haven on Tuesday, Sept. 20, at 6:30 p.m.

Patricia Smith, author of six books of poetry, and Monica Ong, an artist and poet, will read as part of UNH’s Arts@Night series in the Alumni Lounge in Bartels Hall, located on the UNH Main Campus in West Haven.

A Chicago native, Smith is the author of “Blood Dazzler,” a book of poems chronicling the tragedy of Hurricane Katrina.  The book was a 2008 National Book Award finalist and one of NPR's and the “Library Journal's” Top Books of 2008.  She also wrote “Teahouse of the Almighty,” a National Poetry Series selection, winner of both the Hurston-Wright Legacy Award and the 2007 Paterson Poetry Prize. Her work has appeared in “Poetry,” “The Paris Review,” “TriQuarterly,” “Tin House” and many other journals, and is included in both “Best American Poetry 2011” and “Best American Essays 2011.”

Smith is a Pushcart Prize winner, a Cave Canem faculty member and a four-time individual champion of the National Poetry Slam, the most successful poet in the competition’s history. In 2006, Smith was voted into the National Literary Hall of Fame for Writers of African Descent. She is a professor at the City University of New York/College of Staten Island

Ong creates installations and interactive narratives that investigate social hierarchies and cultural silences in the context of public health. The silence of the daughter, the fear of losing face, and untranslated trauma are aspects of the medical/emotional landscape that her work evokes.

She completed her MFA in digital media at the Rhode Island School of Design. She is a fellow at the Kundiman Asian American Poetry Retreat.

Ong has collaborated on designing digital poetry for “Born Magazine.” Her experimental image poems are also published in the “Lantern Review” and will be included in the forthcoming issue of “The New Sound: A Journal of Interdisciplinary Art & Literature.”  Recently, her narrative installations have been featured in exhibitions at the AC Institute in New York City, and the Parachute Factory of New Haven, where she also curated the exhibition “Critical Condition,” focusing on the cultural silences in public health.

The program is free and open to the public. It is sponsored by the UNH English department and the Elm City Review. For more information, call (213) 932-9991 or email:

A leader in experiential education, the University of New Haven provides its students with a valuable combination of solid liberal arts and real-world, hands-on professional training. Founded in 1920, UNH is a private, top-tier comprehensive university with an 82-acre main campus. The university has an enrollment of more than 5,900: approximately 1,700 graduate students and more than 4,200 undergraduates, 70 percent of whom reside in university housing. The university offers 75 undergraduate graduate degrees through the College of Arts and Sciences, College of Business, the Henry C. Lee College of Criminal Justice and Forensic Sciences, the Tagliatela College of Engineering and University College. University of New Haven students study abroad through a variety of distinctive programs.