Poet Spencer Reece to give public reading at Gould Academy

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BETHEL —  Poet Spencer Reece, the first participating writer in the Richard Blanco Visiting Writers Program and Retreat at Gould Academy, will give a reading of his work from 7 to 8 p.m. Thursday, March 6, in Bingham Auditorium at Gould Academy. The event is free.

Inaugural Poet Richard Blanco will introduce Reece at the event. Following the reading, the public is welcome to a reception with both poets and a book signing with Reece in the Sanborn Family Library in Hanscom Hall.

“I have been a fan of Spencer’s work for quite some time,” said Blanco. “He visited me in Bethel last year, and I am thrilled to welcome him back to share his work. I am sure his moving and pure-spirited poems will inspire and enrich our community.”

In 2012, Reece received a Fulbright grant to live and work with orphaned girls at the Our Little Roses orphanage in San Pedro Sula, Honduras, where he taught them to write poetry.

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While in Bethel, Reece and Blanco will co-edit an anthology of poems written by the girls of Our Little Roses. A documentary film was made of his experience there, which will be released in 2015 as will the new anthology.

An Episcopal priest ordained in 2011, Reece’s poems explore faith and family. His debut collection, “The Clerk’s Tale,” was published in 2004 and received the Katharine Bakeless Nason Prize for poetry, selected by U.S. Poet Laureate Louise Gluck and awarded by the Middlebury College Bread Loaf Writer’s Conference. He is also the author of the collection, “The Road to Emmaus,” published in 2013.

Reece’s honors include fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts, grants from the Fulbright Foundation and the Minnesota State Arts Council, a Witter Bynner fellowship from the Library of Congress and a Whiting Writer’s Award.

Reece earned a BA at Wesleyan University, an MA at the University of York, an MTS at Harvard Divinity School and an MDiv at Yale Divinity School.

The Richard Blanco Visiting Writers Program and Retreat is a collaboration between Blanco and Gould Academy that aims to celebrate living writers and build appreciation for contemporary work.

Visit www.gouldacademy.org for more information.

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