Compelling Conversation with José Olivarez on September 23
The 2021-2022 Bunker Hill Community College (BHCC) “Compelling Conversation Speaker Series” sponsored and presented by the Office of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion kicked off on September 23 as a part of Hispanic Heritage Month in collaboration with the BHCC One Book Program. The first speaker in the series was José Olivarez, the author of the 2021-2022 BHCC One Book Program selection, Citizen Illegal. José Olivarez read aloud several poems from Citizen Illegal and generously shared a couple of his new poems with the 100 bustling and engaging audience at the event. As one of the audiences said so aptly in the chat, it was “Incredible how much life you have given the words we read already just by reading them out loud.” During the poetry reading, the audience exchanged their reactions to topics of the poems, such as “VapoRub” or “tortillas,” in the chat in such a lively way. After his 40-minute poetry reading, facilitated by Professor Carlos Maynard, Olivarez and students made the virtual space deeply communal. For the remaining 50 minutes, students flooded the space with a nonstop stream of questions for Olivarez: “raised hands” of different colors constantly popped up on the Zoom black screen, and the chatbox brimmed with questions from the audience.