GENEVA, NY- On Nov. 20 an acclaimed novelist and poet gave a reading at 7:30 p.m. at the Hirshon Ballroom. As a part of the Trias Reading Series, Cristina Garcia was the third novelist and poet to read from her own work on the HWS campus.
Garcia, born in Cuba, is an American novelist, journalist, and poet. She is a bestselling author of six novels, her latest book, “King of Cuba” was released in 2013. She also published a collection of poetry called “The Lesser Tragedy of Death” in 2010.
Garcia began her career as a researcher and reporter for Time magazine and then turned to writing fiction. Her first novel Dreaming in Cuban was a finalist for the National Book Award, according to Witness.
She is a recipient of a Hodder Fellowship at Princeton University, a Whiting Writers’ Award winner along with many other awards and fellowships.
She was invited to read on campus by this year’s Trias Resident Chris Abani,who is an acclaimed author and a Board of Trustees Professor at Northwestern University, as stated on the HWS website.
Abani invited poet Adrian Castro, who came to read at HWS Oct. 30, to kick off the Trias Reading Series this year, and then, of course, Garcia.
These free and public readings are available because of one generous alum who changed the Hobart and William Smith Colleges’ creative writing and poetry caliber on campus. The Trias Residency brings one distinguished poet or fiction writer to campus to give them time to write while also teaching a class for specially selected HWS students.
Chris Abani at Hobart & William Smith Colleges
The Peter Trias ’70 Endowed Fund for Poetry and Creative Writing was established at HWS in 2011 to attract writers and poets of distinction to add distinguished voices to the creative chorus on campus for a year’s commitment, according to the HWS website.
Peter Trias ’70 attended HWS and passed away in 2006. “One of Peter’s dreams as he grew older was to create an artist colony where writers and visual artists would be able to have residences,” says Ed Rothfarb, who was Trias’ partner according to the HWS website.
Within this fund, allows a writer have a “Writer-in-Residence” who will stay on campus and teach a small advanced workshop that studies have to apply to take.
Past Trias Residency writers have included poet Piotr Sommer, who was the resident from 2013-2014 and invited Elizabeth Willis and Joshua Beckman both well-published and respected poets.
From 2012-2013, short story and novelist writer Mary Gaitskill was the resident and she invited acclaimed and accomplished authors George Saunders and Wells Tower.
Finally the first Trias Resident a Grammy winner and award-winning writer Tom Piazza was the very first resident from 2011-2012 and he invited journalist, critic and translator Wyatt Mason and also Mary Gaitskill, who then was chosen to be the next year’s resident.
The Trias Residency and Reading Series gives the HWS and Geneva community access to these accomplished and intelligent writers. The past three residences and their visiting writers have been impressive and it seems like the program will only grow as the year’s progress.
Clare is the Copy Editor of Zap-Ed-News. She is studying Media and Society and English at Hobart and William Smith Colleges and is part of the William Smith Class of 2015.