Poet and author Willie Perdomo will be featured in Berwick Academy’s annual Mary Anker Poet-in-Residence series at 7 p.m. on Thursday, March 8. This event is free and open to the public. Perdomo is the author of The Essential Hits of Shorty Bon Bon, a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award and Milton Kessler Poetry Award, winner of the International Latino Book Award, and a Hurston/Wright Legacy Award nominee. He is also the author of Smoking Lovely, winner of the PEN/Beyond Margins Awards and Where a Nickel Costs a Dime, and a finalist for the Poetry Society of America Norma Farber First Book Award. Perdomo is a Pushcart nominee, two-time New York Foundation for the Arts Poetry Fellow and a former Woolrich Fellow in Creative Writing at Columbia University. His work has appeared in The New York Times Magazine, The Norton Anthology of Latino Literature, Bomb Magazine, and African Voices. He is currently a member of the VONA/Voices faculty and an English Instructor at Phillips Exeter Academy.
Perdomo’s reading on Thursday evening will be the culmination of a week-long residency at Berwick Academy, where he and Middle School students engage in the process of making and performing poetry in daily workshops. “Poetry has always provided an alternative language toward experience and imagination; it’s as close to dreaming in real time as we can get,” says Perdomo. “The goal of my visit to Berwick is to create an environment where students can inhabit their dream space.”
The residency and evening event were started by Kimberly Green, the first Poet-in-Residence at Berwick Academy, and Mary Anker, retired Berwick Academy English teacher. Their love of poetry, energy, and vision, resulted in the creation of this annual series, which began in 2010. Poets Richard Blanco, Naomi Shihab Nye, Tom Moore, McKeel McBride, Sophia Snow and others have been featured and welcomed by an often-standing room only response from the greater Seacoast Area. The program was named in Mary’s honor in 2017 for her dedication, passion, and commitment to bringing poetry to Berwick Academy.
Please join us at Berwick Academy’s Jackson Library, 31 Academy Street, South Berwick, ME. For more information, call 207-384-6117.
Berwick Academy, situated on an 80-acre campus just over one hour north of Boston, serves 600 students, Pre-Kindergarten through grade 12, from Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Maine. Deeply committed to its mission of promoting virtue and useful knowledge, Berwick Academy empowers students to be creative and bold. Berwick strives to graduate alumni who shape their own learning, take risks, ask thoughtful questions, and come to understand and celebrate their authentic selves. Founded in 1791 and rooted in a tradition of college preparation, our culture of innovation prepares students for a complex and dynamic world.