What an unexpected gift to receive on the seventh day of Christmas and the first day of the New Year! Video of our “Red Shoe Night” celebrating Rhina P. Espaillat, whose papers have been added to the Burns Library archive at Boston College. It was an evening to remember. Fortunately, for those of you who were unable to attend, Christian DuPont has posted it on YouTube. Put on your red shoes and dance the blues away!
An evening extravaganza of poetry, music, and tributes celebrating bilingual Dominican-American poet and translator Rhina Espaillat and the donation of her archives to Boston College, featuring Dana Gioia, Julia Alvarez, Silvio Torres-Saillant, Nancy Kang, Sarah Aponte, Alfred Nicol, Roger Kimball, Riikka Pietiläinen Caffrey, Kristin Vining, Riikka Pietiläinen Caffrey, and more … and Rhina!
The program will begin at 5:30pm and continue through the evening. Come when you can, leave when you must. Free food and beverages. Books and CDs available for sale and signing. Admission is free and all are welcome. Bring your friends! Put on your red shoes!
Thursday, September 28
O’Neill Library Reading Room
Daniella Gitlin and the other wonderful volunteers at Word Up Bookshop in New York have made available videos of the Rhina Espaillat Symposium which took place in October. It was a memorable day. People came from as far away as Los Angeles to show their admiration and affection for Rhina, and she, of course, reflected all that loving energy right back on us. I’ve been comparing her to a mirror ball when I talk about what happened that day.
So much happened that day. These videos are studded with gems. Leslie Monsour borrowed John Tavano’s guitar to sing —beautifully— a song she’d composed using one of Rhina’s Spanish poems as lyrics. Harvard Professor Lorgia García Peña revealed that, ever since hearing Rhina read at Dartmouth over ten years ago, she has carried Rhina’s poems with her as a daily source of inspiration. Paula Dietz of The Hudson Review celebrated her friendship with Rhina. The young scholar Dan-el Padilla Peralta delivered a riveting essay. Juan Matos read his poetry with a passion that moved even the Spanish-challenged, like myself. Nancy Kang and Silvio Torres-Saillant, authors of the first full-length study of Rhina’s life and work, presented new papers. It’s impossible to list all the treasures to be found in this trove. It’s worth coming back to, whenever you want to be reminded what literary community looks and feels like. Here’s a link to the links: Rhina Espaillat Symposium