Recent Authors

The Peter Trias Residency at Hobart and William Smith Colleges is designed to give distinguished poets and fiction writers time to write. Academic expectations allow for sustained interaction with our best students while providing the freedom necessary to produce new work. Residents are active, working artists whose presence contributes to intellectual environment of the Colleges and the town of Geneva. The residency offers a generous salary.


Mary Ruefle

Poet, essayist, and erasure artist Mary Ruefle is the Hobart and William Smith Colleges 2015-16 Trias Writer-in-Residence. She will leading workshops and mentor the Colleges' most dedicated and driven student writers.

Ruefle is the author of more than a dozen books, including collections of poetry, prose, criticism, and a comic book. Her "Selected Poems" won the William Carlos Williams Award from the Poetry Society of America, and "Madness, Rack, and Honey: Collected Lectures" was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award in Criticism. Her work as an erasure artist involves creating poetry by erasing words from existing texts. Ruefle's erasure treatments of 19th century texts have been exhibited in museums and galleries and published in "A Little White Shadow." She has received numerous honors, including the Robert Creeley Award, an award in literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, a Guggenheim fellowship, a National Endowment for the Arts fellowship, and a Whiting Award.

As award-winning poet Tony Hoagland wrote in a review of her work for "On the Seawall," "Ruefle is clearly one of the best American poets writing, and her body of work is remarkable for its spiritual force, intelligence, stylistic virtuosity, and adventurousness."

Trias Reading Series 2015-2016

Jen Bervin

March 9, at 7:30 p.m. in Hirshson

Jen Bervin is a Brooklyn-based visual artist and writer whose works often combine text and textiles with strong conceptual elements and a minimalist's eye for the poetic and essential. Her work has been exhibited widely at venues like the Walker Art Center and The Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum and is held in more than thirty collections, including The J. Paul Getty Museum.

She is currently completing The Silk Poems, written nanoscale on silk film and read as a projection with fiber-optic light, to premiere in May 2016 at MASS MoCA in the exhibition "Explode Every Day". Bervin has published nine books, including Emily Dickinson: The Gorgeous Nothings, with Marta Werner, named a Best Book of the Year by the Times Literary Supplement, Hyperallergic, and The New Yorker.

Her new project in Suzhou, China, on an innovative poem written and embroidered by Su Hui, a woman poet in the 4th century, is supported by a Sally and Don Lucas Artists Residency Program fellowship at Montalvo Arts Center. Bervin has taught at Harvard University, Yale University, and Brown University, where she was a 2015 Fitt Artist in Residence. Bervin's work receives support from Creative Capital, the Rauschenberg Foundation, and many others.

Sonya Posmentier

February 17, at 7:30 p.m. in Hirshson

Sonya Posmentier earned her Ph.D. in English from Princeton University, her M.F.A. in creative writing from the University of Oregon, and her B.A. in English from Yale University. She has recently completed a book manuscript, Cultivation and Catastrophe: the Lyric Ecology of Modern Black Literature. This book argues that extreme environmental experiences such as hurricanes, floods, and earthquakes as well as the slower social disaster of enforced agricultural enslavement have shaped black modern literature and culture, and in particular poetic forms. Posmentier is at work on a new book, Black Reading, about the intersecting histories of black cultural studies and modern lyric. Her writing has appeared in The New York Times Book Review, American Literature, and the edited collections Race and Real Estate and the Blackwell Companion to the Harlem Renaissance. She regularly teaches a survey of 20th century African American literature, as well as graduate and undergraduate courses on modern poetry, environmental literature, black criticism and theory, and black diaspora.

Jess Row

February 15, at 7:30 p.m. in Hirshson

Jess Row is a writer and novelist. His first book, The Train to Lo Wu, a collection of short stories set in Hong Kong, was published in 2005; his second collection of stories, Nobody Ever Gets Lost, appeared in 2011. His first novel, Your Face in Mine, was published in August 2014.

His stories have appeared in The New Yorker, The Atlantic, Tin House, Conjunctions, Ploughshares, Granta, American Short Fiction, Harvard Review, and elsewhere. In 2007, he was named a “Best Young American Novelist” by Granta. His nonfiction and criticism appear often in The New York Times Book Review, Bookforum, Threepenny Review, and Boston Review, among other venues.

Row is an associate professor of English at The College of New Jersey and a member of the international faculty of the MFA program at the City University of Hong Kong. He can be reached at

Michael Burkard

November 19, at 7:30 p.m. in Hirshson

Poet Michael Burkard, who graduated from Hobart College and the Iowa Writer’s Workshop, is the author of more than 10 books of poems, including Envelope of Night: Selected and Uncollected Poems, lucky coat anywhere and, most recently, Some Time in the Winter. He has been awarded a Guggenheim fellowship, a Whiting Writer’s Award, two grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Alice Fay Di Castagnola Award from the Poetry Society of America, and many other honors from such publications and organizations as Ploughshares,American Poetry Review, the MacDowell Colony, and the Provincetown Fine Arts Center. He teaches in the MFA Creative Writing program at Syracuse University.

David Hinton

October 29, at 5 p.m. in Hirshson

Translator, poet and essayist David Hinton's many translations of classical Chinese poetry have earned wide acclaim for creating compelling contemporary poems that convey the actual texture and density of the originals. He is also the first translator in over a century to translate the five seminal masterworks of Chinese philosophy: I Ching, Tao Te Ching, Chuang Tzu, Analects, Mencius. He was recently given a lifetime achievement award by The American Academy of Arts and Letters. He has also been awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship, numerous fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities, and both of the major awards given for poetry translation in the United States: the Landon Translation Award, from the Academy of American Poets, and the PEN Translation Award, from the PEN American Center. His new book of essays is Hunger Mountain: A Field Guide to Mind and Landscape, which was on the Best-Books-of-2012 list at The Guardian. He lives in Vermont and teaches in Columbia University’s graduate writing program.

Jody Gladding

October 29, at 7:30 p.m. in Hirshson
(there will be a reception between the two events)

Poet, translator and hybrid-forms artist Jody Gladding's work explores the places where language and landscape converge. She has published three collections of poems, most recently Translations from Bark Beetle, which includes images of some of her poem sculpture/illustrations, and has translated almost thirty books from French. Her awards and honors include MacDowell and Stegner fellowships, the French-American Foundation Translation Award, Centre National du Livre translation grants, a Whiting Writers Award, and the Yale Younger Poets Prize. She lives in Vermont and teaches in the MFA Program in poetry and translation at Drew University.


For more information, contact:

Kathryn Cowles, Trias Director
Assistant Professor of English and Women's Studies

For Students


The Trias Residency for Writers is supported by The Peter Trias Endowed Fund for Poetry and Creative Writing. This valuable fund was established through a generous bequest from Peter J. Trias '70.


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