Robin Coste Lewis’s poetry collection Voyage of the Sable Venus won the 2015 National Book Award for poetry. Voyage explores the black female figure throughout time. In its citation honoring the book, the National Book Foundation wrote, “In poems that consider the boundaries of beauty and terror, Coste Lewis intimately involves us with all that has formed her. The aesthetic and psychological complexity of this work is underscored by its clarity. This voice is essential to our present moment.”
Coste Lewis will read from her work on Wednesday, October 12, 6:00pm, in Taylor Hall, room 203. This event is Vassar College’s annual Elizabeth Bishop Reading, which honors the distinguished poet and Vassar alumna. It is free and open to the public.
Coste Lewis has published her work in various journals and anthologies, including The Massachusetts Review, Callaloo, The Harvard Gay & Lesbian Review, Transition: Women in Literary Arts, VIDA, Phantom Limb, and Lambda Literary Review, among others. She is a Provost’s Fellow in Poetry and Visual Studies at the University of Southern California and also a Cave Canem fellow and a fellow of the Los Angeles Institute for the Humanities. She received her BA from Hampshire College, her MFA in poetry from NYU, and an MTS in Sanskrit and comparative religious literature from the Divinity School at Harvard University. A previous finalist for the Rita Dove Poetry Award, she has taught at Wheaton College, Hunter College, Hampshire College, and the NYU Low-Residency MFA in Paris.
This event is made possible through a gift from Priscilla H. Rockwell and H.P. Davis Rockwell and is sponsored by the Department of English.
About the Elizabeth Bishop Lecture
Each year Vassar College invites a distinguished poet to give the Elizabeth Bishop Lecture, an endowed reading /lecture that honors the Vassar alumna whose papers are housed in our Special Collections Library and whose hundredth anniversary was celebrated in 2011 with a major conference on Bishop's work. Our Bishop Lecturers have included Robert Pinsky, Seamus Heaney, and, most recently, Claudia Rankine. The Elizabeth Bishop Poetry Series is made possible through the gift of Priscilla H. Rockwell and H.P. Davis Rockwell.
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Vassar College is a highly selective, coeducational, independent, residential liberal arts college founded in 1861.