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Poetry Series

Every spring since 1999, the Thatcher Hoffman Smith Poetry series brings a nationally renowned, award-winning poet to our campus. The event features live readings of their work, book signings, and an open mic sessions for local poets to showcase their talents.

"I sit at my computer to see where the words have taken the heart. The brain enters now."                                                                                                                                                           from Kimiko Hahn's "The Orient"

This spring, Thatcher Hoffman Smith Poetry Series welcomes Kimiko Hahn!

Join us at 10 a.m. and/or 7 p.m. Wednesday, April 3, for a poetry reading in the Kerr McGee Auditorium at Meinders School of Business, NW 26th & N. McKinley Ave, Oklahoma City. Community members are also invited to come early and share their own poetry at the open mic, beginning at 6 p.m. Each reading will be followed by a book signing, and the evening reading will be followed by a reception to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the series. As always our friends at Full Circle Book Store will be on hand to sell copies of the poet's books.

Kimiko Hahn is author of ten collections of poetry, including The Ghost Forest: New & Selected Poems (forthcoming this fall) which plays with given forms while creating new ones, and, in doing so, honors past writers. Her last collection, Foreign Bodies, revisits the personal as political while exploring the immigrant body, the endangered animal’s body, objects removed from children’s bodies, and hoarded things. Previous books Toxic Flora and Brain Fever were prompted by fields of science; The Narrow Road to the Interior takes title and forms from Basho’s famous journals. Reflecting her interest in Japanese poetics, her essay on the zuihitsu was published in the American Poetry Review.

In 2023, Kimiko was named a Chancellor for the Academy of American Poets and received The Poetry Foundation’s Ruth Lilly Lifetime Achievement Award. Additional honors include a Guggenheim Fellowship, PEN/Voelcker Award, Shelley Memorial Prize, Theodore Roethke Memorial Poetry Prize, American Book Award, and NEA Fellowships. In her service to the field, she enjoys promoting chapbooks and has created a chapbook archive at the Queens College Library. Hahn is a distinguished professor in the MFA Program in Creative Writing & Literary Translation at Queens College, The City University of New York.

Listen to Kimiko Hahn read "Nepenthe"

Funding for this event was made possible by the Thatcher Hoffman Smith endowment at Oklahoma City University.

The Thatcher Hoffman Smith Spring Poetry Series is proud to have hosted major poets for 25 years.

Past poets include winners of National Book Awards, Pulitzer Prizes, Guggenheim Fellows, Academy of American Poets Chancellors, and Poets Laureate of the U.S. or U.K. 

Our interviews with some of the previous poets are linked below.

YEAR                                                 POET NAME
2023Jericho Brown & Pádraig Ó Tuama
2022Naomi Shihab Nye
2021Nikky Finney & Clemonce Heard                                                                  
2019Alberto Rios
2018Chris Abani
2017Simon Armitage *
2016Marie Howe & Andrea Gibson
2015Richard Blanco
2014Tracy K. Smith *
2013Terrance Hayes
2012Claudia Emerson
2011Carolyn Forché
2010Natasha Trethewey *
2009Charles Simic *
2008Jimmy Santiago Baca
2007Joy Harjo *
2006Ted Kooser *
2005Billy Collins * & Lucille Clifton
2004Li Young Lee
2003Naomi Shihab Nye
2002Mark Doty
2001Michael Ondaatje
2000Jane Hirshfield
1999Robert Pinsky *

* denotes a Poet Laureate

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