PSNH Presents: Carolyn Oliver on Epistolary Poems

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Date(s) - May 10, 2022
7:00 pm - 8:30 pm


Epistolary poems—poems written in the form of letters, or letters written as poems—offer nearly endless opportunities for variation in style and subject. Elegiac or celebratory, private or public, bitter or tender, epistolary poems share an awareness of distance—physical, temporal, emotional—between writer and recipient. In this talk we’ll consider just a few ways in which contemporary poets approach this distance, and how we as readers experience it.

Carolyn Oliver is the author of Inside the Storm I Want to Touch the Tremble (University of Utah Press, forthcoming 2022), selected for the Agha Shahid Ali Prize, and two chapbooks, Mirror Factory and Dearling. Her poems appear in The Massachusetts Review, At Length, Superstition Review, Shenandoah, Beloit Poetry Journal, 32 Poems, Southern Indiana Review, Smartish Pace, and elsewhere. Her awards include the E. E. Cummings Prize from the NEPC, the Goldstein Prize from Michigan Quarterly Review, and the Writer’s Block Prize in Poetry. Carolyn lives with her family in Massachusetts, where she is the editor of The Worcester Review. Her website is

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