Feb. 25 Poetry Reading: Elevating the Voices of the Displaced

By Daniel DiPrinzio | January 31, 2022
Closeup portraits of Dr. Reale and Dr. Varlack

The Pan African Studies Program is pleased to announce Elevating the Voices of the Displaced: Poetry Reading with two members of the Pan African Studies Collective, Dr. Michelle Reale and Dr. Christopher Allen Varlack. The event, cosponsored by the Office of Access, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion as well as the Center for Antiracist Scholarship, Advocacy, and Action will take place via Zoom on Friday, Feb. 25, from 4 to 5 p.m. and offers an opportunity to reflect on the experiences of those whose lives were disrupted by a number of factors such as violence, poverty, and socio-political strife. Join us for this much-anticipated event by pre-registering via the Zoom registration link.

Dr. Christopher Allen Varlack is an assistant professor at Arcadia University and the Associate Director of the Center for Antiracist Scholarship, Advocacy, and Action (CASAA). He is the editor of two volumes, Critical Insights: Harlem Renaissance (Salem, 2015) and Critical Insights: Civil Rights Literature, Past and Present (Salem, 2017). He is also currently editing Zora Neale Hurston in Context for Cambridge University Press and a special double issue of The Langston Hughes Review on Sterling A. Brown. Outside of his scholarly work, Dr. Varlack follows the tradition of social poetry once defined by Langston Hughes in his essay, “My Adventures as a Social Poet” (1947). Particularly, his work addresses the history of racial violence in its multiplicity of forms against the Black community in an effort to counter the erasure of that history and to elevate the often silenced voices of those whose trauma we cannot afford to ignore.

Dr. Michelle Reale is a professor at Arcadia University. She is the author of seven monographs in her field of library science. She is an Italian-American poet and the author of numerous collections, including Season of Subtraction (Bordighera Press, 2019), Blood Memory (Idea Press, 2020), and Confini: Poems of Refugees in Sicily (Cervena Barva Press, 2021). In her work, Dr. Reale troubles various aspects of Italian-American culture and the Italian-American experience such as immigration history, narrative inheritance, inherited trauma, organized crime, damaging stereotypes, and the pervasive mythologization of the culture in general. Her ethnography in Sicily and her work with refugees there sought, and continues to seek, to excavate firsthand accounts of the lived experiences of those who left their homes for freedom and safety.