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Contemporary Writers Series
Fall 2014


October 6, 2014 | 7:00 pm | Lisser Theater

Palestinian-American poet, Deema Shehabi and Jewish-American poet, Marilyn Hacker read from their collaborative book of poetry, Diaspo/Renga. This collaboration began when Marilyn Hacker, in Paris, sent Deema Shehabi, in California, an unexpected email containing a renga about a steadfast yet emotionally wounded child lamenting her fate during the invasion of Gaza in January 2009. It quickly turned into a long project, involving an alternate call and response between them in the tradition of the Japanese renga form, each poet picking up a word, phrase, or image from the poem preceding. The result was a sequence of renga, a fascinating poetic conversation called Diaspo/Renga. The two poetic voices are beautifully meshed together, so that it actually reads as one long poem.The poetry is very rich in imagery, and these images stay with you, as do feelings the poems generate, for example of unrest, of being in exile. Television shows you the pictures in the streets, this poetry takes you into the homes and minds of people. Diaspo/Renga is a dignified celebration of humanity in and among atrocities. Although triggered by events in Gaza, it cleverly weaves in other conflicts past and present.


Claiming Our Power: Judy Grahn, Coletta Reid, and Ginny Z Berson
October 14, 2014 | 5:30 pm | Mills Hall Living Room

A Panel on Lesbian-Feminist Activism in the 1960s and 1970s

Many women-owned and operated presses, record companies, concert production companies, bookstores, coffee houses, and newspapers sprang up in the burst of creative energy of the Women's and Gay Liberation Movements of the late 1960s and early 1970s. Among them were Diana Press, the Oakland Women's Press Collective, and Olivia Records. The panelists will discuss their founding of these projects and their experience designing feminist institutions of power and purpose.

Last Updated: 10/30/14