Naomi Ayala Visits Marymount


On Tuesday, October 18, Naomi Ayala visited Marymount for a craft talk and poetry reading. She spoke with students about her own personal experiences as an immigrant and read poetry from Wild Animals on the Moon (1997), This Side of Early (2008), and Calling Home: Praise Songs and Incantations (2013). Ayala is the recipient of several Artists Fellowships from the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities, Special Recognition for Community Service from the U.S. Congress, and the Martin Luther King, Jr. Legacy of Environmental Justice Award; this was her second visit to Marymount’s campus.

Layo Harris, a student in Professor Porter’s American Multicultural Literature course, introduced the poet and read some of the class’s responses to Ayala’s work.


Ayala embraced Layo Harris after the introduction

During the reading, Ayala discussed the themes of immigration, poverty, and struggle present in her poems. She also spoke about the use of writing to confront adversity or pain and move beyond it, to begin the process of healing and thus become who we were meant to be in spite of the traumas we have experienced. She spoke of people who had incredible challenges in their lives and could “still sing at the end of the day,” of how she finds “beauty everywhere, even where there is great difficulty.”


Ayala with student Yasmin Jaar, who designed a poster for the event.

One student asked about her view of the American dream, particularly in light of the current political climate, and she responded that we shouldn’t dismiss or denigrate the dream. We need to acknowledge what we have so that we don’t misuse it, she said, and she added that the hope the dream holds out helps keep people moving forward so that they and their children can reach a better place. She indicated that we need to be aware of the failings of the dream, but that instead of turning our backs on it, we should keep working to broaden its perspective and make sure it can accommodate more.

Ayala continued her conversations with the audience at the book signing that followed the reading.


Ayala conversed with students after the reading at the book signing.

The event was attended by over a hundred students and community members and made a powerful impact on the Marymount campus. Many students remarked how much they related to both Ayala’s poetry and her discussion, and they were grateful to have had the chance to hear her speak.

Posted in Events | Leave a comment

French 305 Presentations at National Gallery

img_3894The students in FR 305: Topics in French Literature have been studying the literature of 19th century Paris with Professor Caren Colley-Trowbridge, focusing on the social and political transformations occurring under the Revolutions of 1830 and 1848, then on Haussmann’s public works projects and their impact on the city.  On Friday, October 14, the students took a trip to the National Gallery to see up close the paintings they had been studying related to Haussman’s renovation of Paris.  Micaela Healy, Mairin Morairty, Abdessadeq Ourkiya, and Marta Pisa Sanz gave presentations placing the paintings within their cultural and political context.

img_3896 img_3897 img_3895

Posted in Events | Leave a comment

Washington D.C. Theaters: Theatrical Selections

img_0149One of  the reasons we love our location in the D.C. metropolitan area:  the wealth of opportunities to witness great theater.  This election season offers yet another option.

Theatrical Selections
A free, politically-charged play reading series presented by


For more details about the plays, check out the .Shakespeare Theatre website.

Posted in Events | Comments Off on Washington D.C. Theaters: Theatrical Selections

Naomi Ayala Poetry Reading on October 16

On Tuesday, October 18, Naomi Ayala will read her poetry from 2-3:15 in the Reinsch Auditorium. The event is free and open to the public.

wpfw-2-by-e-miller-august-2016Born in Puerto Rico, Naomi Ayala moved to the United States in her teens, eventually earning an MFA from the Bennington College Writing Seminars. Writing in both Spanish and English, she is author of the poetry collections Wild Animals on the Moon (1997), chosen by the New York City Public Library as a 1999 Book for the Teen Age, and This Side of Early (2008). Her poems have appeared in the anthologies Boriquén to Diasporican: Puerto Rican Poetry from Aboriginal Times to the New Millennium (2007), Latino Boom: An Anthology of U.S. Latino Literature (2006), and First Flight: 24 Latino Poets (2006). An educator and arts administrator interested in environmental causes, Ayala has received numerous awards, including the Connecticut Latinas in Leadership Award, the 2000 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Legacy of Environmental Justice Award, and the 2001 Larry Neal Writers Award for Poetry from the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities.

Posted in Events | Comments Off on Naomi Ayala Poetry Reading on October 16

Poetry Reading

Dr. Holly Karapetkova will share some of her own poetry at Robert Harper Books in Riverdale Park, Maryland, this coming week.  Come join her.

When:  Saturday, October 8, 2-4 p.m.

Where: Riverdale  Town Center, 6216 Rhode Island Ave.  Riverdale Park, Maryland.


Posted in Events | Comments Off on Poetry Reading