When English professor Lisa Bickmore was named Salt Lake Community College’s poet laureate by President Deneece Huftalin last spring, Bickmore proposed that part of her job would be to “organize and curate a poetry reading series, as SLCC has never had a reading series.”
The SLCC Poetry Reading Series commenced on Thursday, Feb. 11 in the South City Campus multipurpose room, featuring guest poet Tarfia Faizullah.
A powerful poet
Bickmore states that she chose Faizullah for the inaugural event because of her first book, “Seam” — a collection of Faizullah’s poetry about Bangladeshi women who were raped by Pakistani soldiers as a military tactic during the Liberation War of 1971.
Bickmore feels that Faizullah’s work is “a powerful reminder” of what poetry and other “creative” genres can do.
“The work [is an example] of making history visible, of amplifying the voices of those we have not heretofore heard, of showing us with great vividness worlds to which we have not attended,” Bickmore says.
In addition to the poetry reading, Faizullah visited poetry and publication studies classes and led a public forum to discuss critical poetry writing earlier in the day at the Taylorsville Redwood Campus.
Suggestions wanted for future readers
Bickmore plans to have a reading every spring and fall semester. She is currently working on selecting a poet for next fall and welcomes any suggestions for future guest poets.
“I’m looking for readers from outside SLCC,” Bickmore says, “mainly to bring in widely diverse voices we wouldn’t be likely to hear otherwise.”
In response to queries about how the next event will be publicized, Bickmore says she will try to have future event information posted on SLCC’s website.
Anyone with questions about the SLCC Poetry Reading Series can contact Professor Bickmore via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.