Distinguished poets from across America will gather to give readings, riffs and remarks as Suffolk University launches a Poetry Project that will amplify the already-vibrant place that poetry holds in Suffolk’s College of Arts & Sciences.

Day One of the Suffolk University Poetry Project brings together many of the award-winning and emerging writers who have visited the University’s Poetry Center, visited classes and led writing workshop discussions at the invitation of poet and Professor Emeritus Fred Marchant, who is heading up the Suffolk University Poetry Project. The evening also serves as a tribute to Marchant.

Marchant is a major American poet and author of four books, with a fifth, The Day Later, in production. He won the Washington Prize, for his first collection, Tipping Point. He has long had a connection with Vietnam. Marchant was one of a handful of U.S. Marines granted conscientious objector status and was granted honorable discharge. The moral issues raised by the Vietnam War inform his own poetry, and he has brought Vietnamese poets to speak in America and has translated Vietnamese poetry into English.

The poets will gather from 7-9 p.m. Tuesday, May 13, 2014, at Suffolk’s C. Walsh Theatre, 55 Temple Street, right behind the State House.


Among the evening’s presenters will be David Ferry, a distinguished scholar in the College of Arts & Sciences who won the National Book Award in 2012, National Book Award winner and Distinguished Scholar in Residence James Carroll, and Maxine Hong Kingston, a major Chinese American novelist and poet and winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award and a National Humanities Medal winner. She will provide a video tribute to Marchant.

Hosts Marchant and Jen Bonardi will give opening remarks following a greeting from Theatre Department Chair Marilyn Plotkins. Additional readers and speakers include Suffolk faculty, former students and writers from the broader literary community, as follows:

Kristen Bulger
Christine Casson
Ken Greenberg, College of Arts & Sciences dean
Joan Houlhan
Robert K. Johnson
George Kalogeris
Earll Kingston (video with Maxine Hong Kingston)
Tony Merzlak
Quentin Miller
David Rivard
Paul Rowe
Chris Siteman
Kathleen Spivack
Kim Stafford (on video)
Dan Tobin
Afaa Michael Weaver
Margaret Weitz
Joyce Wilson

There will be a musical interlude by John Mulrooney and Jonathan LeMaster.

Tickets for the event will benefit the Suffolk University Poetry Project, including:

  • An additional reading in the University’s poetry series by an author of the highest standing
  • A named traveling scholarship for a Suffolk undergraduate writer
  • Short-term writing workshops devoted to specific themes and populations
  • An ongoing focus on issues of war and peace-building
  • Literary conferences, interdisciplinary symposia, special gatherings
  • A translation festival
  • Co-sponsored events with other literary organizations in the Boston area
  • Establishing a “world-class” and digitized broadside collection

Tickets are available online.