$10 – $100

Jimmy Santiago Baca Author Event - Benefit for the Durham Literacy Center

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Levin Jewish Community Center

1937 West Cornwallis Road

Durham, NC 27705

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The Durham Literacy Center is excited to present a special event with poet Jimmy Santiago Baca on November 2, 2019!

About this Event

Internationally renowned poet Jimmy Santiago Baca was born in Santa Fe County, New Mexico, in 1952. Abandoned by his parents at the age of two, he lived with one of his grandmothers for several years before being placed in an orphanage. He wound up living on the streets, and at the age of twenty-one he was convicted on charges of drug possession and incarcerated. Baca served six and a half years in prison, during which he taught himself to read and write and began to compose poetry. He sold these poems to fellow inmates in exchange for cigarettes. A fellow inmate convinced him to submit some of his poems to the magazine Mother Jones, then edited by Denise Levertov. Levertov printed Baca's poems and began corresponding with him, eventually finding a publisher for his first book. 

Immigrants in Our Own Land, Baca's first major collection, was highly praised. In 1987, his semi-autobiographical minor epic in verse, Martin and Meditations on the South Valley, received the American Book Award for poetry, bringing Baca international acclaim and, in 1989, the Hispanic Heritage Award in Literature. A self-styled "poet of the people," Baca conducts writing workshops with children and adults at countless elementary, junior high and high schools, colleges, universities, reservations, barrio community centers, white ghettos, housing projects, correctional facilities and prisons from coast to coast. His most recent book, When I Walk Through That Door, I Am, portrays the experience of an immigrant mother facing family separation, abuse, and ICE raids on the Southern border.

"Jimmy Santiago Baca is a voice of Chicano survival in a country that has too often marginalized Chicanos and other Latinos," said Mario T. García, professor of Chicana and Chicano Studies and of history at UCSB. Poet Denise Levertov said “Baca writes with unconcealed passion and manifests both an intense lyricism and that transformative vision which perceives the mythical and archetypal significance of life events.”

The event will take place at the Levin Jewish Community Center, located at 1937 W Cornwallis Rd, Durham, NC 27705. 

  • VIP Reception is at 5:30 p.m. on November 2nd: $100 ticket price for VIP reception (includes complimentary refreshments, a signed personalized book, & admission to the main event)
  • Main Event is at 7:00 p.m., following the VIP reception: $25 ticket price (books available for purchase onsite)

Sponsorship opportunities available: www.durhamliteracy.org/sponsorship

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Date and Time

Location

Levin Jewish Community Center

1937 West Cornwallis Road

Durham, NC 27705

View Map

Refund Policy

No Refunds

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