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Welcome to the schedule of the 2015 Massachusetts Poetry Festival, happening May 1-3 in the beautiful and historic town of Salem! 

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Saturday, May 2 • 12:15pm - 1:15pm
Writing Race: Poets on the Complexity and Contradictions of Race in America FULL

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Limited Capacity seats available

In the "post-racial" Obama era, the nation remains racially polarized, as the tragedy and protests in Ferguson, Missouri amply demonstrate. How can a poet write truthfully about the complexity and contradictions of race in America? How can a poet balance the message in the poem with the demands of poetry? How can a poet speak on behalf of his or her community, and yet empathize with other communities? How can a poet channel anger into art, risking the alienation of the audience for the sake of honesty?

Martin Espada is often called “the Latino poet of his generation.” Poet John Murillo is the son of an African-American father and a Mexican mother. Richard Michelson is a Jewish poet who grew up in an African-American neighborhood. They will read from their work and discuss the risks and responsibilities of addressing race in poetry.

Speakers
avatar for Martín Espada

Martín Espada

Martín Espada has published more than fifteen books as a poet, editor, essayist and translator. His forthcoming collection of poems is called Vivas to Those Who Have Failed (2016). Other books of poems include The Trouble Ball (2011), The Republic of Poetry (2006), and Alabanza (2003... Read More →
avatar for Richard Michelson

Richard Michelson

Richard Michelson is the author of More Money than God (Pitt Poetry Series, February 2015), Battles and Lullabies (U of Illinois), Tap Dancing for the Relatives (U of Florida), and two fine press collaborations with the artist Leonard Baskin’s Gehenna Press. His many children’s... Read More →
avatar for John Murillo

John Murillo

John Murillo is the author of the poetry collection, Up Jump the Boogie, finalist for both the Kate Tufts Discovery Award and the Pen Open Book Award. His honors include a Pushcart Prize and fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Bread Loaf Writers Conference, Fine... Read More →

Producers
avatar for Richard Michelson

Richard Michelson

Richard Michelson is the author of More Money than God (Pitt Poetry Series, February 2015), Battles and Lullabies (U of Illinois), Tap Dancing for the Relatives (U of Florida), and two fine press collaborations with the artist Leonard Baskin’s Gehenna Press. His many children’s... Read More →

Volunteers
avatar for Abigail Warren

Abigail Warren

Associate Professor, Cambridge College
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Saturday May 2, 2015 12:15pm - 1:15pm
Hawthorne Sophia Room

Attendees (0)