The student newspaper of Bucks County Community College

The Centurion

The student newspaper of Bucks County Community College

The Centurion

The student newspaper of Bucks County Community College

The Centurion

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Final Wordsmiths Poetry Reading of the Semester

Luray Gross

The final Wordsmiths Reading Series of 2021-2022 on Friday, April 29, will feature an evening filled with the words and worlds of two seasoned poets, Jane Hirshfield and Luray Gross.

The opportunity to experience poetry performance live is “an experience unlike any other,” says Professor Ethel Rackin, Professor of Language and Literature at Bucks, and Director of Wordsmiths Reading Series and Poet Laureate Program.

“The Wordsmiths Series has helped to establish the college as a hub of literary and artistic activity for the community and beyond,” says Rackin.

The Bucks Wordsmiths Reading Series has been running since the 1960s. It brings together a vast and diverse community, and gives students the perfect storm of possibilities to connect what they have learned in the classroom with the wider world: perhaps something that is needed more than ever right now.

“The Wordsmiths Series is one of the ways that Bucks contributes to the vitality of the arts community in Bucks County. The series brings together poets and non-poets, students, community members, and visitors,” says Rackin.

This is for everyone. Sometimes people can be intimidated by poetry or think that “poets are deceased or pretentious. When they attend a live reading, it brings home the point that poets are people just like us!” says Rackin.

“Every semester, students tell me that they are so glad they attended and would be likely to attend again. The same is true for the general public. The events are accessible, lively, and fun. They are created to appeal to a wide audience of newcomers and regulars alike,” she adds.

And those who attend are in for an absolute treat with Hirshfield and Gross. “The series is dedicated to equity and inclusion,” says Rackin, and one way in which this goal is accomplished is to make it a regular practice to pair a local poet with a visiting one.

“Both Hirshfield and Gross are seasoned professionals in their field,” says Rackin. “Hirshfield will be visiting us from California and Gross is a Bucks County native. Both poets write about the natural world, human nature, spiritual issues, and more. There is a profound honesty, directness, and beauty in each poet’s work.”

So, what’s in store for the evening? “A relaxing, enjoyable, inspiring evening,” says Rackin.  And then some more…the event is free, and open to all, and there are also some VIP tickets that can be purchased.

VIP tickets are $15 and include reserved seating and entry to the reception from 6 p.m. to 7:20 p.m. outside the auditorium. The reception includes light hors d’oeuvres and two wine, beer or non-alcoholic drinks per person. VIP ticket holders must be 21 and older. IDs will be checked.

Both free and paid tickets can be obtained online at or at

Tickets can also be obtained at the Zlock box office outside the auditorium on Tuesdays from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., or on the day of the event.

The reading will also be broadcast on Zoom.

So, get down to the Zlock or get on Zoom and catch this last opportunity to experience live poetry in the Wordsmiths Reading Series for 2021-2022 on Friday, April 29.  And don’t fret that this is the last.  The series will start up again in the Fall, with more information to follow.