Expressing Diversity Through Poetry

Alanna Grady

Features Editor

Photo courtesy of Springfield College
Photo courtesy of Springfield College

April is a month of many questions.

Where did the time go, and why is it continuing to speed up? Why is everything happening all at once? Will we finally, maybe, hopefully get a sense of spring that will last?

April, in the last push to get things done before the end of the school year, can be sort of disorienting. With these possibilities and the hope of lasting sunshine, April has the ability to make poets out of all of us.

Springfield College is starting its celebration of April as poetry month right away with a reading by Aracelis Girmay, a poet and teacher at nearby Hampshire College.

Though she is originally from California, Girmay has established ties in the Northeastern United States. She earned her Bachelor’s degree from Connecticut College and her MFA New York University’s prestigious poetry program. Her work has since been published in several popular literary magazines, and in her award-wining poetry collections entitled Teeth and Kingdom Animalia.

Margaret Lloyd, a professor of English in the Humanities Department who teaches courses on modern America poetry, was behind bringing Girmay to campus.

“Aracelis Girmay is one of the most inspiring and powerful poets writing in the U.S. today,” Lloyd said.

“This is the main reason I invited her to SC. The other compelling reason has to do with the college’s mission and growing focus on diversity, inclusion, and concern for educating students in regard to social justice. She writes powerful poems from her African-American, Puerto Rican, and Eritrean heritage.”

This unique combination of nationalities is only part of what gives Girmay’s work its unique perspective. Her poetry explores many aspects of history and the natural world, though there is something in her work that everyone can relate to.

Students will have the opportunity to hear Girmay read and discuss her work tonight at 7 p.m. in the Dodge Room of the Campus Union.

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