Smith College

Poetry Center Director

Responsible for the day-to-day operations of the Poetry Center, including designing and implementing a diverse series of poetry readings for a wide and varied audience. Foster connections between the Center and faculty members across all disciplines. Partner with and chair the English Department to assess programming and strategically align future programming with emerging Creative Writing curricula. Direct the Poetry Concentration or related programming within the English Department. Work with Development and other departments in courting potential donors and stewarding current ones.  Promote visibility of the Center on campus, regionally and nationally. 

Administrative Responsibilities:  Serve as administrative and programmatic director of the Poetry Center. Design, arrange and oversee a diverse reading series, continuing efforts to build audiences beyond the College. Seek out collaborative relationships and support for programming. Research and maintain a current understanding of the work of regional, national and international poets of diverse cultural and aesthetic practices. Prioritize resources and maintain budget oversight. Represent the Center at appropriate College events and connect it to faculty members and other campus offices and departments to ensure its visibility and effectiveness. Chair and partner with the Poetry center committee to assess programming, initiate strategic planning, present budget, policy questions and new initiatives. With key strategic partners, especially the English Department and Poetry Center advisory committee, articulate longer-term goals of the Center and plan and implement new initiatives as appropriate. Attend local and national conferences to promote the work of the Center. Supervise administrative assistant, interns and volunteers. Oversee use and care of Poetry Center space and resources.

Direct Poetry Concentration: Serve as advisor to all students in the poetry concentration and work with them on their capstone projects. Provide students with mentoring expertise, recommendations and networking opportunities.

Instruction: English 112, “Reading Contemporary Poetry,” a partial-credit course structured around the reading series, during both fall and spring semesters. Organize PYX140 or related programming

Outreach:  Develop and maintain relationships with other arts and community-oriented organizations locally, on and off campus, and at the regional and national level.  Seek out student poets and writers to mentor and to involve in the Poetry Center.  Attend Admissions events, correspond with prospective students, oversee the High School Poetry Prize. Support local organizations in their work to expose those outside the academic area to poetry. Develop and maintain relationships with alumnae, including through visits to Smith Clubs.  Steward donors and work to raise funds for underwriting the Center’s programming through an annual appeal and working with Development and other offices.

Education/Experience: MFA or terminal degree in a related field and a strong publishing record; administrative experience in higher education preferred.  College-level teaching experience in poetry or other area appropriate to mission of the Center, preferably in liberal arts environment.

Skills: Strong leadership and management skills.  The ability to develop and execute several key projects simultaneously.  Must be able to work independently, have strong organizational and planning skills, excellent writing and oral communication skills, strong analytical and research skills and computer expertise including familiarity with MS Office suite.  Excellent interpersonal skills, and be able to effectively interact with people of all backgrounds.  Ability to use sound judgment, creativity and vision.  

Smith College is an AA/EO/Vet/Disability employer.  

To apply, please visit:

Contact Information

Kate Harrington, HR Manager
Contact Phone: 
(413) 585-2268
Contact e-mail: