quinebaug valley community college

Waiting for Yoko Spoken Word Series at QVCC March 28

“Waiting for Yoko”: A Celebration of the Art of Resistance, featuring the internationally recognized poet Martín Espada, will be held Wednesday, March 28, at Quinebaug Valley Community College in Danielson. The event, which runs from 6 to 9 pm, includes local musician and Quinebaug Middle College Principal Gino LoRicco, Windham/Willimantic NAACP Chapter President Leah Ralls, and activist/musician Miles Wilkerson. An open mic follows the featured performances.

Espada has published almost 20 books as a poet, editor, essayist and translator, most recently the poetry collection Vivas to Those Who Have Failed (Norton 2016). His many honors include the Shelley Memorial Award, the National Hispanic Cultural Center Literary Award, and the American Book Award. The Republic of Poetry was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. His book of essays, Zapata’s Disciple (1998), was banned in Tucson as part of the Mexican-American Studies Program outlawed by the state of Arizona. A former tenant lawyer in Greater Boston’s Latino community, Espada is a professor of English at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst.

A multi-talented musician, LoRicco plays the guitar, banjo, harmonica, djembe, cajon and the garbage can, and writes and records original music. Ralls, a social worker and longtime advocate for those suffering from homelessness, addiction, and mental illness, is currently the president of the Windham/Willimantic chapter of the NAACP. Wilkerson is a local activist, scholar, and musician, who has most recently led anti-racist actions in response to the white supremacist attacks in Charlottesville, Virginia.

The Waiting for Yoko Series is named for Yoko Ono, an artist, author and peace activist, who is invited to each event and has sent a letter of greeting. So far, she has not attended. “This reading series never fails to disappoint. This is a place where great art, world-class poetry, and new student voices come together in an almost magical way” says Professor of English Brian Kaufman.

Sandwiches and light refreshments will be provided and the public is invited to attend. For more information please contact Jon Andersen, professor of English  at jandersen@qvcc.edu or 860-932-4054.

Released March 20, 2018