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Poetry Reading: Geoff Wilkinson

April 25 @ 6:30 pm - 7:30 pm

The Jacob Edwards Library is pleased to host Geoff Wilkinson, who will read from his book of poetry, Confluence.

Wilkinson explains, “My life in social work—as a community organizer, non-profit leader, government official, and professor—is embedded throughout these poems. Confluence is about connection, and that’s the heart of what social workers do. As I tell my students, love and justice are inseparable.”

Award-winning author of “Testimony,” Shanee Stepakoff, MFA, Ph.D., says, “In these finely crafted, potent poems, Geoff Wilkinson gives us new ways to look at ourselves and each other. The settings range from rural Vermont to the American southwest, from Haiti to Hiroshima, from the cityscapes of Central Massachusetts to Chile under the brutal dictatorship of the 1970s. His main theme is connection: to self, to the beloved, to friends, to nature, to the wider community, to ancestors, and to future generations. His work is informed by a stubborn hope borne of long experience and painful lessons. Wilkinson invites us to look more closely, more intently, and more bravely at ordinary life, and to see the moments of beauty, wonder, and grace that are present there if we pause and pay attention. Yet he also engages with harsher truths. This collection asks us to look squarely at the many forms of violence that surround us, but it does so not through dogmatism but by a quiet, attentive bearing-of-witness to the world in which we live.”

Geoffrey Wilkinson is a clinical associate professor at BUSSW where he teaches community organizing and advocacy and serves as director of the leadership core at the School’s Center for Innovation in Social Work & Health. A lifelong activist, he worked as a tenant organizer in Boston public housing, directed the Massachusetts Senior Action Council and the Massachusetts Public Health Association, and served as director of planning and policy for the Massachusetts Department of Public Health. He is a founding board member of the National Association of Community Health Workers and co-founder of two social justice organizations—Milton for Peace and Affordable Inclusive Milton—where he lives.



Jacob Edwards Library
236 Main Street
Southbridge, MA United States
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