Sun. Jan 16th, 2022

Rhina P. Espaillat, the Poetry Center’s Poet-in-Residence this year, will lead a free craft lecture and discussion Thursday, Oct. 27 at 4 p.m. in Philips Autograph Library, the discussion will be followed by a free poetry reading and book signing the same day at 7 p.m. in Philips Autograph Library.Each year, the Poetry Center hosts a distinguished poet for a few days, so the poet may encourage students to write poetry and learn more about the craft. The Poet-in-Residence also makes two public presentations.

Espaillat, who is a native of the Dominican Republic but has lived in the United States since she was seven, has published eight collections of poetry, including Rhina Espaillat: Greatest Hits, 1942-2001, Rehearsing Absence, Where Horizons Go, and others. Her most recent publication is Playing at Stillness.

Several of Espaillat’s poetry collections have won literary prizes. For instance, Where Horizons Go won the T.S. Eliot Prize in 1998, and Playing at Stillness won the National Poetry Book Award.

Espaillat writes in English and Spanish, and her poetry has also been published in several magazines, including Sparrow, Poetry, The Formalist, and others.

Rhina Espaillat will speak and read poetry in Philips on Oct. 27 at 4 p.m. the end of the month, Espaillat will be working with students in Professor Kate Northrop’s poetry workshop class. “As a former teacher, she really understands how to get through to people,” said Professor Michael Peich, director of the Poetry Center.

Peich said that Espaillat will recite poetry in Spanish and English during her public reading, and he went on to say that Espaillat uses traditional meterand rhyme in her poetry. “Rhina is definitely a writer who employs the elements of traditional poetry, and as a result there’s a real musicality to her poetry,” Peich said.

He also praised Espaillat for using normal circumstances and familiarity in her poetry.

For example, her poem “Bra” from Where the Horizons Go is a poem that uses the image of a bra to stress the issues of global trade and sweatshop conditions. “But the label says Honduras: Alas, I am Union forever, yes, both breasts and the heart between them committed to U.S. labor,” the poem says.

Espaillat visited WCU last April, but she was not the Poet-in-Residence. She only visited the campus to give a public poetry reading. Peich said she was entertaining during her last reading and had a “disarming charm.”

The organization responsible for bringing Espaillat to campus, the Poetry Center, was created in 2000 to encourage the study and appreciation of poetry. The organization trains teachers how to teach, provides an international forum for the discussion of poetry, and holds the Poetry Conference every summer.

Author profile

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *