Poetry Lives at Wellesley

A photo depicts a poster with a poem entitled "Love Cycle" by Octavio R. González, Wellesley assistant professor of English.

Wellesley disproved T.S. Eliot’s claim that April is the cruelest month, celebrating poetry in classrooms, courtyards, and quads—and even conveying it through Boston and environs on posters aboard four MBTA cars. National Poetry Month at Wellesley kicked off when the T cars started rolling on April 1, a project made possible through a collaboration with Mass Poetry, a nonprofit that aims to widen the audience for the art form in the state. On one car on each of the four T lines—red, orange, blue, and green—the College took over space usually reserved for advertising to display poems by 29 members of the Wellesley community. The poets ranged from a Campus Police dispatcher to English professor and New Yorker poetry critic Dan Chiasson—and his colleague Octavio González. Work by alumnae and students also rode the T. Of the rolling poetry display, President Paula Johnson said, “It’s truly an amazing body of work … . It shows that the Wellesley College community lives and breathes poetry.” On April 23, the College hosted a Student Day of Poetry, with College faculty and students offering writing workshops and readings for local middle and high school students. On the 26th, a chilly day that might have reminded participants of Eliot’s feelings about April, community members offered pop-up outdoor readings organized by the Paulson Ecology of Place Initiative. The month also saw a performance by the College’s award-winning slam poetry team, Wellesley Out Loud, and readings by visiting poets, including Sumita Chakraborty ’08, whose first book, Arrow, will be published in 2020.

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