Poetry Month Begins With a Boom

A poetry boom is blowing up in Swarthmore as April begins. The first week of National Poetry Month includes five poetry readings on four consecutive days, involving prominent local and international poets with all sorts of perspectives. The community is welcome to these free readings.

Vladimir Gandelsman

Vladimir Gandelsman

On Monday, April 3, at 4:30 p.m., Russian-American poet Vladimir Gandelsman will present his poetry in the Scheuer Room of Kohlberg Hall at Swarthmore College. An émigré to New York, Gandelsman reads his work in Russian, while poet and translator Olga Livshin of Bryn Mawr will read her own and translations of Gandelsman’s poetry. Light refreshments will be served.

In “Disrespected Literatures,” poets of “oppressed languages seize the stage” of Pearson-Hall Theatre in Lang Performing Arts Center beginning on Tuesday. Poets presenting their work include Melissa Castillo-Garsow, Alysia Harris, Fernanda de Araujo Machado, Margaret Noodin, and Velma Pollard, who represent cultures repressed and emerging, including poetry in sign language. Readings will be Tuesday, April 4, and Thursday, April 6, from 7:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. A workshop on filming sign language performances will be held from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Wednesday, April 5; RSVP to dnapoli1@swarthmore.edu.

Dilruba Ahmed

Dilruba Ahmed

Wednesday poses the week’s biggest challenge: choosing between two simultaneous readings presented by the Mad Poets Society on Wednesday, April 5, at 7 p.m. The Swarthmore Public Library (121 Park Avenue) co-hosts Dilruba Ahmed, a highly accomplished poet and creative writing teacher who lives in Swarthmore. Her work has been published in many reviews and anthologies, and her book Dhaka Dust won the 2011 Bakeless Literary Prize. She will also introduce a reading by Haverford College student Mercedes Davis.

The Mad Poets welcome Bernadette McBride and Bill Wunder to their monthly reading series at Wallingford’s Community Arts Center, also at 7 p.m. Wednesday, April 5. McBride is the author of three poetry collections, most recently Whatever Measure of Light, and a teacher and editor of poetry in Bucks County. Wunder’s poems have been collected in two books and a recent chapbook Kingdom of Heaven. He, too, lives in Bucks. The visitors’ readings will be followed by an open mic session. Light refreshments will be provided. CAC is at 414 Plush Mill Road. For more info on the Mad Poets events, call Sibelan Forrester at (610) 328-8162 or e-mail sforres1@swarthmore.edu.

Join the Swarthmorean Salon
The Swarthmorean will be publishing readers; poems during National Poetry Month. Would you like to contribute a poem or two? We’ll welcome your verses at editor@swarthmorean.com.

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