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College Celebrates National Poetry Month with Writing from the Margins

Natasha Tretheway delivered a very poignant keynote address.

By: Alicia Cook     alicia_cook@bloomfield.edu

April is National Poetry month and Bloomfield College just wrapped up a three-day program dedicated to just that: poetry and the written word.

From April 14 – 16, The College hosted “Writing from the Margins” and offered an exciting line-up of writing workshops, readings, and panel discussions with distinguished writers and scholars.

The biggest draw was most definitely the presence of Natasha Tretheway, the 19th Poet Laureate of the United States. Tretheway’s honors include the Pulitzer Prize and countless fellowships. On Friday night, she delivered a very poignant keynote address, which moved many in the audience to take out their smart devices and record her speech.  Those in attendance, including myself, knew they were witnessing something very special. The next day she met personally with attendees to sign books, share hugs, and simply chat.

“We were so fortunate to have Natasha Tretheway not only give the keynote address but be so accessible to our students and faculty,” said Paula Craig, from the Division of Humanities. “The weekend, for me, was pure magic.  This is what I love about Bloomfield College.”

Contemporary writers, that included Daniel Jose Older and Kaitlyn Greenidge, joined the event on the second day. They spoke openly about their experiences, writings, and on marginalization and the under-representation of diverse voices in literature to a crowd that nodded not only in agreeance, but in understanding.

Writing from the Margins connected writers and readers in a dynamic exploration of the power and potential of literature.

"Writing from the Margins sparked some timely and important conversations on diverse voices in contemporary literature,” said Ada McKenzie, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of World Literature. “Guest writers and attendees had the opportunity to exchange ideas and to make their voices heard. The mood throughout the weekend was upbeat, and we are so pleased with the positive feedback we received from both writers and participants."

This successful event was the first of its kind for the Division of Humanities at the College.

Check out pictures from the event.