Event Highlights: A Reading & Conversation with José Olivarez

This poetry reading & conversation with José Olivarez took place via Zoom on Wednesday, April 12, 2023. The event, moderated by Saraí García, celebrated the release of Olivarez’s second poetry collection, Promises of Gold (Promesas de Oro) this February.

Saraí García is a PhD candidate in Boston University’s Department of Romance Studies. Below are her comments:

“This event was a true delight, and I am deeply thankful to everyone at BU who made this event possible! We were fortunate to welcome the talented and renowned poet José Olivarez among BU students and appreciate not only his poetry—which we had the privilege to read (Promises of Gold) before the event—but his mastery and accessibility in performing them. José Olivarez’s poetry has become a powerful and raw reference about Latinx, Chicano, and Latin American communities and diasporas in the USA. His understanding of the present difficulties and struggles our communities have faced over history, makes his talent with words become something beyond language itself but a way of resistance and a statement against violence, discrimination, and systemic oppression of marginalized communities through poetry. His reading and conversation brought us into a celebration of beauty and love for our communities and the friendships that surround us. My WR152 students kept referring to Olivarez’s poems in our class about identity even after the event passed. I was especially grateful for his generosity with time and access to his new book since this bilingual edition of Promesas de Oro, I believe, is one of the few publications of 2023 by a big publisher that encompasses what true representation in the USA editorial market means. I was overall very pleased for having the opportunity to open a space for a voice and talent like his in the BU community.”

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