“Reading Women” is an annual Women’s History Month event in which women from the DCC faculty read famous literary works with a specified theme. This year the theme was political activism. From 12:30 to 1:45 on March 23, 2017, students and staff members gathered in Dutchess 101 to hear the readings.
The event took place in Dutchess 101 and was well-attended with students and staff members sitting at round tables scattered throughout the room. About fifteen women participated in the readings this year, including Brenda Squires, Tina Iraca, Gail Upchurch-Mills and several others. Dr. Iraca moderated the event and introduced each new reader. DCC President Dr. Pamela Edington also attended the event and made a few opening remarks.
There were excellent refreshments. “Every year we spend our whole food budget for Women’s History Month on this particular event,” Dr. Brenda Squires explained. The audience greatly appreciated the food as well as the educational content of this event.
The readers imbued the poems that they read with great emotion and power. Before beginning to read, each of them spoke about why they chose that particular poem and what it means to them. Perhaps most memorably, Dr. Lucia Cherciu from the English Department read an original poem about Donald Trump. It is a villanelle titled “How did we let it get this far?” Dr. Cherciu explained that Donald Trump’s frightening policies have reminded her of her childhood in communist Romania.
Another poignant moment came when Dr. Iraca, the final speaker, read “Home” by Warsan Shire. Shire is a Somalian refugee living in England whose poems are gaining fame and attention. “Home” is a realistic, pragmatic poem about the reality behind the refugee crisis. It was a timely reminder for everyone in the audience to continue fighting for the rights of those in need regardless of government intolerance and legal hurdles.