Photo Credit: Michael Shuter

Karen Swenson

December 2, 1998 (Wednesday) at 4:00 p.m.
Humanities 354
University at Albany, Uptown Campus

Karen Swenson, poet and journalist, is a world traveler who's journeys into the hidden reaches of Southeast Asia, usually alone and often at great risk, have produced four volumes of poetry: An Attic of Ideals (1974, Doubleday), East-West (1980, Confluence), A Sense of Direction (1989, The Smith), and The Landlady in Bangkok (1994, Copper Canyon) which won a National Poetry Series prize. Her work has won acclaim from the Pushcart Prize, the Arvon Foundation in England and the Ann Stanford Award. She also has written of her travels for The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The New Leader and several magazines.

Swenson has been Poet-in-Residence at Skidmore College, the University of Idaho, Denver University, Clark University and Scripps College. She taught at City College, New York, for fifteen years.

"A complexity of powerful and disturbing poems. . .Swenson is at her trenchant best with thumbnail sketches of the people she encounters. . .All of these poems display the thickness of authenticity that validates experience and buttresses poetry.. .we cannot choose but hear." - Maxine Kunin

"The Landlady in Bangkok is quintessentially of cultures in division with each other. . .at times humorous with each other under strain. The book is a reader's voyage I for one have enjoyed to my enlightenment." - David Ignatow